PATERSON, NJ - It turned out Paterson's Board of Education never had the option of moving the city's school elections to November.
A new state law allowing a change in the dates for school elections does not apply to districts under state control, like Paterson, city eduation officials said. So Paterson Board of Education's will continue to be held in April.
That's the option that local school officials seemed to favor, anyway. Several of them said switching to November would have injected an extra dose of politics into the contests. Moreoever, they said, school races would have been overshadowed by other contests, like presidential and gubernatorial campaigns, if they moved to November.
The Paterson school board had been scheduled to vote to keep the elections in April at its meeting Wednesday night. But turned out not to be necessary, said Commissioner Pedro Rodriguez, chairman of the board's legal committee.
More than a dozen school districts in the state already have decided to shift their elections from April to November.
Advocates of November school elections say the switch would increase voter turnoout for the races and eliminate the expense of holding special school elections in April. Over the past three years, Paterson Public Schools has spent a total of more than $470,000 on it school elections.