A 1999 annual school construction survey for New Jersey reveals that the state's voters approved 71.3 percent of the school construction elections, more than the previous year's approval rate of 60 percent. Construction costs also influenced regional approval rates which varied from 59.5 percent in the north to 89.3 percent in the south. Despite heavier approval rates, gaining voter approval for major construction was still difficult: while 70 percent of all construction plans were approved, only 56.3 percent called for new school buildings. Nearly one-third of the referenda on the 1999 ballot represented second, third, and fourth attempts at passage, and despite changes to increase the likelihood of passage, nearly 30 percent were still rejected by voters. Lower-cost proposals, usually focusing on repairs and facility upgrading, were approved more readily than proposals calling for additions or new construction. Statistical results from the survey are provided.
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