NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – On Tuesday, New Jersey residents will be paying a lot of attention to the names on the front of their Election Day ballots.
But all voters in the Garden State have another question to answer on the back of their ballots which will determine if the state can borrow half a billion dollars to fund its education system.
Here’s a look at what you’ll see on the back of New Jersey ballots on Nov. 6, according to New Jersey’s Department of State:
PUBLIC QUESTION 1: Securing Our Children’s Future Bond Act
“This bond act authorizes the State to issue bonds in the aggregate principal amount of $500 million. The money from the sale of the bonds would be used to provide grants to schools, school districts, county vocational school districts, and county colleges. Money from the grants would be used to build, equip, and expand facilities to increase career and technical education program capacity. Money would also be used for school security upgrades and school district water infrastructure improvement projects.”
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN:
New Jersey would be permitted to borrow $500 million to help fund the state’s school systems.
$350 million would be used to support county vocational schools, allowing more students to attend, and also improve school security.
$50 million would go to support local college programs.
The final $100 million would go towards water infrastructure projects at New Jersey schools. One of those projects would reportedly include removing lead from school drinking fountains.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy cut a $1 billion borrowing proposal in half so it would make the November ballot. The governor pointed to the state’s tremendous debt as the reason for slashing the request by lawmakers.
The current problem now facing the measure: how will a slimmed down funding proposal be fairly divided among hundreds of New Jersey school districts if passed?