Nutley parents hope referendum passes to alleviate overcrowded schools

Posted: Updated:
NUTLEY -

Many parents in an Essex County town say they are voting for a referendum that would approve nearly $67 million needed to help alleviate overcrowding in the town’s schools.

“We are 30 in some classes. We are at 25. We’re at 28. It’s just not the right environment for our kids,” says Board of Education president Dan Carnicella.

If the entire plan is passed, it will cost taxpayers $66.9 million. The average property tax bill would go up $394 per year. Parent say that it may sound expensive, but it could be worth it.

"The way I think about it is, it’s like $1.08 per day - to invest in your school and your town,” says parent Janice Fraser.

Fraser and fellow Nutley mom Melissa Blum are leading an effort called, "Say Yes to Nutley."

A “yes” vote calls for renovations to build seven new classrooms at Yantacaw School, six at Washington and even more at the centerpiece of the plan, the John Walker Middle School.

"We are looking at putting 20 classrooms on the extension to that side of the building.  Along with a multipurpose space or gym,” says Carnicella.

The district says that one of the plans to reduce overcrowding will be to take all of the sixth-grade students from each of the town’s elementary schools and move them to the middle school.

To help voters, the referendum is broken up into two parts. Question No. 1 is a vote for only new classrooms. Question No. 2 is a vote for add-ons like multipurpose spaces and bathrooms. 

If the referendum does not pass, children would have to attend class outside in trailers.

A similar referendum concerning expansion failed in December 2017.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."