A simple test of union control of local public schools?

New Jersey is going to allow school districts to decide whether to leave their school board elections in April or to change them to November. Public teacher unions like April because the low voter turnout during those off elections give teacher union members who always vote a great say in determining who wins the elections. The issue here is simple: the public school districts where teacher unions have the greatest influence will be the least likely to switch from April to November.

The school elections bill passed the Senate by a vote of 34-3 and the Assembly by a vote of 62-11 with three abstentions.
It makes moving the election to November optional but allows school districts that do move to forgo votes on the district’s school budget, provided the spending plan calls for a tax levy within the state’s 2 percent cap.
Supporters of the measure claim it will save money on election expenses and increase voter participation.
“Politicians and pundits have talked about doing this for years, but special interests and inertia have prevented progress on this important issue — until today,” said Assemblyman Lou Greenwald, D-6th of Voorhees, who sponsored the legislation. “Empowering towns to move their school elections to November will give voters better control of their local finances while saving property taxpayers the costs of holding yet another local election.” . . .

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