NJ Votes on School Budgets

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New Jersey voters head to the polls today to cast ballots on more than 550 local school budgets. WNYC's Bob Hennelly reports.

REPORTER: New Jersey's local board of education members are holding their breath to see if the economic crisis prompts voters to defeat school budgets. They're funded by the State's ever rising local property taxes.

Last year, 73 percent of school district budgets were approved. The last time a majority of them were defeated was in 1976, although voters came close in 2006. If voters reject their school budget, it goes to the local Mayor and Council for further evaluation. Also on today's ballot some 1,600 school board seats but most of them are uncontested.

Even though billions of dollars in education funding is at stake, less than one in five voters is expected to vote. From New Jersey for WNYC, I'm Bob Hennelly.