MILLBURN, NJ - At Monday night’s Board of Education meeting, we reached an important milestone on our “Road to the Referendum” as the Board of Education voted to put one question on the ballot for the public Referendum vote on September 27.

I want to join Board Vice President Emily Jaffe in the thanks she expressed to the Board members for their thoughtful deliberations and in-depth discussions that went into this important decision. 

This means that all of the projects that have been proposed for improvement, innovation and investment in our schools will go to the voters as one question, that will ask them to approve the issuance of bonds in the total amount of $25,593,176, to fund the purchase and renovation of the Millburn Regional Day (Washington) School; to provide alterations and renovations and building systems improvements at Millburn High School and Millburn Middle School; and renovations, alterations and building systems and media center improvements at our elementary schools.

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The state will fund $7,618,199 in the form of debt service aid, meaning that the final costs of the approved projects will be $17,974,977.

As I’ve shared during many presentations over the last year, a referendum is an important signal to the public that we are making important steps forward to improve our schools. It also acknowledges a request to partner with the school district in providing the best for our students. The NJ School Boards Association has tracked 506 referendums since 2002 and determined common threads among those that succeed. 

According to the research, voters respond more favorably to funds being spent for students and work that goes to providing the best education in comfortable, dry classrooms. Accordingly, since 2006 voters have approved 92% of the questions requesting heating upgrades or boiler upgrades. When leaky roofs repairs were on the ballot, 77% of voters favored projects that included roof repairs.

Our September 27 referendum follows the research. It includes:

  1. The purchase of a building to give our elementary schools more room; 
  2. Additions to the MS and HS to address the need for innovation and provide additional space for now and in the future. 
  3. Health and safety projects at every school that will improve the learning environments for all students. 

We have contained the costs to addressing our students’ needs by only recommending projects that directly impact our students and staff. 

As a district that continually seeks to enhance and improve our schools, this referendum will fulfill the goal of investing in excellence.

We are offering two summer tours of the Washington School on July 26 at 11:30 a.m., and on August 16 at 6 p.m. Join us to learn more about this project and the referendum as a whole. RSVP here (direct link to RSVP form: http://goo.gl/forms/I6b8hOgXBwiRrBa73).

Please continue to go to our Referendum website for the most up-to-date information about the proposed projects, and check out our Referendum Video #5, about Innovative Spaces.

Please email us with questions and comments at referendum@millburn.org.

As a reminder, in case any of you are considering joining our Board of Educationpetitions are due to the county clerk on Monday, July 25.

 

I hope you are enjoying these lazy, hazy days of summer!

 

Christine Burton

Dr. Christine Burton

Superintendent of Schools

(973) 376-3600 (X151) 

christine.burton@millburn.org

 

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