With the media's focus on the Presidential election, we may forget to thoroughly research our local candidates, namely the ones running for the Board of Education (BOE). 

Even if your kids attend private school or you don't have any school-aged children, decisions made by the BOE still impact homeowners. The two main things that I hear from buyers moving to New Jersey are that they want to live near a direct train to New York City and they want a town with quality schools. Homes sold in towns with higher school rankings tend to have higher selling prices and less days on market. If the BOE makes bad decisions that ruin the reputation of a school district, home values will suffer.

The Board of Education also impacts your property taxes. According to the 2016 Budget presentation on the South Orange Village website, 58% of South Orange's property taxes go toward funding the school district. The school board members are the ones controlling the district's budget. Not only do higher property taxes hurt when you have to pay them; But higher taxes can scare away potential buyers when it comes time to sell your home.

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In the final days leading up to the election, please take a few minutes to learn about each candidates'  position on local school issues. Attend a Meet & Greet to talk with them. Then vote!

Click here for a list of South Orange - Maplewood Board of Education Candidates Forums and Events.