Thursday, September 07, 2006

Consolidate Jersey School Districts?

From the Star Ledger:

Maryland may show Jersey the way to pare school costs

New Jersey spends 10 percent of its school dollars -- $1,235 per student -- on administrative costs. In Maryland, the figure is less than 3 percent.

Whether looking at average per-pupil spending or the percentage of property taxes that go to fund schools, New Jersey outspends Maryland by a significant amount for one key reason: New Jersey has 611 school districts; Maryland has 24, one for each county.

The crash course on how Maryland operates its schools was provided to the Joint Legislative Committee on Government Consolidation and Shared Services in Tren ton yesterday by Maryland Assistant State Superintendent of Education Mary E. Clapsaddle via videoconference.

It delighted Sen. Bob Smith (D- Middlesex), the panel's co-chairman, who wants to create 21 coun tywide school districts to oversee local schools, eliminate hundreds of high-paid administration positions and consolidate purchasing and transportation.
When told by Assemblyman Jo seph Malone (R-Burlington) that New Jersey spends 10 percent of its school funding on administrative costs, Clapsaddle replied, "That is alarming." Maryland spends 2.68 percent -- or $240 per student -- on administrative costs, she said.

New Jersey spends $12,567 on average to educate a child, compared with $9,200 in Maryland.

New Jersey taxpayers see an average of 51 percent of their property taxes go toward school funding. In some school districts, it is as high as 88 percent. In Maryland, 24.6 percent of property taxes is used to finance schools.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"New Jersey spends $12,567 on average to educate a child"

wow, thats more than alot of colleges tuition per semester.

Why does this state fail at everything it does?


9/07/2006 06:02:00 AM  
Blogger Richard said...

no way this ever gets off the ground. do you think cache towns like westfield and chatham are going to share their school districts while paying the same taxes with surrounding towns like roselle park? Dead on Arrival.

9/07/2006 06:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The reason the state fail
is very simple.

It has developed a Welfare
State mentality.

Over the years,about 40 now,
the libs have taken over.

Result, a state where the do gooders live in a constant state
of lets throw money at it to
solve the problems.

Look at the numbers, its getting
worse, and you ain't seen nothing

Anybody see the nice little
tax increase coming in Edgewater,
where their is so much development
going on ,on top of ,what has already been developed, that you
think you are in a China hinderland.

NJ has lost the edge.

9/07/2006 06:20:00 AM  
Blogger grim said...

Imagine the impact on home values in those cache towns if this does go through.

I really don't think this one is DOA yet.

9/07/2006 06:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually in some towns it's a LOT higher than the state average. Take a look at the department of education website and read the report cards. They break down everything, even how much per student goes to food subsidies..

The biggest opponents to any change are renters who could care less what it costs per pupil.

9/07/2006 06:28:00 AM  
Blogger grim said...

The biggest opponents to any change are renters

Please clarify/explain.

9/07/2006 06:51:00 AM  
Blogger thatbigwindow said...

I believe anon means that renters will vote on the school budgets because they will not pay the taxes.

9/07/2006 06:57:00 AM  
Blogger lisoosh said...

Anon - what a moronic statement.
Actually renters tend to be a younger demographic, who are less likely to vote, while older people, who do vote in great numbers are more likely to own homes. And why would renters be more resistant to change, when they have the ultimate flexibility in home choice?

And renters do pay property taxes as part of their rent.

9/07/2006 07:20:00 AM  
Blogger grim said...

Quite a naive conclusion. The fact of the matter is that renters do pay property taxes. They pay them indirectly via rent.

Property Tax Deduction/Credit

For tenants, 18% of rent paid during the year is considered property taxes paid.


9/07/2006 07:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

alMy landlord raised the rent this spring $100.00 or about 5 % because of the increase in taxes he was seeing.


9/07/2006 07:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is rubber meets the road stuff, and now we find out if the legislature is serious about reducing the tax burden, because this is one of the best ways to do it.

The level of admin in school districts is quite obviously obscene and anyone who deals with districts has known it for years.

This is a chance for a 5 percent reduction which is about a quarter of the best we could hope for and at least half of what I expected.

There are a lot of logistics, and we'll be lucky to get a 3 percent reduction if it is actually put in place, but it is clearly the fattest cow we can try and sacrifice.

9/07/2006 07:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Older home owners are the ones that are so resistant to change. Many in great areas are afraid that they will end up paying to educate students in poor districts.

Many of my neighbors do not want schools to regionalize. They fear that undesirable students will be bussed into our neighborhood. They seem to forget that we have a responsibility to educate all children.

Classic case of not seeing the forest through the trees. NJ continues to be a divided state. Not as much by race as class.

There are districts in NJ that have no schools. This is absurd, since many employ superintendents.

9/07/2006 07:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, the fat cow comment came from me.


9/07/2006 07:49:00 AM  
Blogger RentinginNJ said...

Nice idea, but it won’t go anywhere. The teacher’s union will fight any step toward regionalization tooth and nail. Teacher’s and their families vote in big numbers and they will exploit the fears and emotions of parents. I.e. “You’ll lose control of your child’s education”.

Unions want the status quo. Much of their success is due to the fact that they can send hard nose professional negotiators into these little towns and basically steamroll them. They then use the success in one town to set a precedent for other towns. “Hey, Westfield just rasied the starting salary to $50k, it’s only fair to give us the same here”. If they had to negotiate with big county districts, they would lose significant negotiating power.

9/07/2006 08:29:00 AM  
Blogger grim said...

I feel that the recent copay (visit and Rx) hike gives at least some hope to the possibility.

Local governments poised to save as co-pays rise

Municipal and school employees enrolled in certain state health insurance plans will pay $10 per doctor visit come Jan. 1 -- a $5 increase. A 30-day supply of prescription drugs will cost $3 for generic drugs and $10 for brand names. Local public employees pay $1 for generic and $5 for brand names now.

Labor unions have opposed the change to the benefit program and are investigating whether they can legally challenge the increases.

While the co-pay dollar amounts are still laughable compared to the private sector, I feel this was a huge step forward.


9/07/2006 08:35:00 AM  

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