New Jersey voters yesterday demonstrated strong support for their public schools by approving 81.1 percent of local school budgets.
The election again attracted a low percentage of voters. The 13.3 percent of registered voters who cast ballots yesterday is slightly greater than the 12.5 percent who voted last year.
The results reported today reflect preliminary figures. Final tallies will be available next week.
"The school budget results are a vote of confidence in the state's continuing efforts to set high standards for students and strict accountability for educators," said Acting Gov. Donald T. DiFrancesco. "The state remains committed to providing the financial resources needed to guarantee that every child receives a quality education. For the upcoming school year, we are calling for a record $7.3 billion investment in public education and are taking action to ensure that no school district suffers a loss in state aid."
"Public support of local school budgets remains high," said Commissioner of Education Vito A. Gagliardi, Sr. "Voters are sending a message that they are confident and optimistic about the quality of education their children are receiving in their local public schools."
In addition to the base budgets, voters approved 65.6 percent, or 61, of 93 second ballot questions. The questions asked voters to approve appropriations for specific items whose costs exceed the current spending growth limitation of the school district.
Last year, voters approved a record 88.1 percent of local school budgets.