Brigantine & NJ School Taxes Spent Wisely?

Half the cost of sending New Jersey children to school misses the classroom

By DIANE D’AMICO Education Writer for Press of AC| Updated 
As much as half of the cost of education has nothing to do with what goes on in a classroom, the new Taxpayers’ Guide to Education Spending released Friday by the state Department of Education says.

Total Spending. On every aspect of education. Including:

  • state-funded teacher pensions
  • debt service on construction
  • legal judgments against the district
  • state and federal grant funds.

Gov. Chris Christie wants to know: what is actually spent for students in preschool through grade 12? The need real accountability for academic performance that considers the total dollars being spent.

Hammonton is ranked as the lowest-spending larger K-12 district in the state, with a total cost of $13,545 per student. 

Costs can also rise and fall based on a gain or loss of enrollment.

Tiny Avalon, with about 97 students, once again was among the top-spending districts in the state in 2009-10 at $40,152 per student for total costs and $23,524 in direct classroom instruction.

Charter schools were among the lowest spending, with the Vineland Public Charter School, which opened last year, spending just $10,710 per student, with $3,614 spent on direct classroom instruction.

  • Ocean City’s median teacher salary is third highest in the state at $88,434.
  • Median teacher salaries in Margate at $83,820
  • Brigantine at $78,959
  • Mainland Regional at $78,500

The guide also includes budgeted costs for 2010-11, which despite cuts in state aid but with some help from federal stimulus funds, show a slight increase in direct district spending of about $12 per student.


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