Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Most Overaided Districts in NJ (and where to find them)

This post is going to be about who NJ's most overaided districts are, how much excess money the state is sending to these districts, and where these districts are located.

My definition of overaiding is simple: any district that gets more than what SFRA indicates its demographic and economic needs are is overaided. The number I use to determine overaiding is actual aid versus uncapped aid.

There are 220 districts that get more than 100% of their uncapped aid, 112 have aid surpluses of more than $1,000 a student, 25 have surpluses over $3,000 a student and Asbury Park has the largest surplus of all, at $9,995 per student.

The following are the districts with surpluses over $2,000 a student and the amount of excess aid they get:

DistrictAid Surplus Per StudentActual AidUncapped AidExcess Aid
Asbury Park$9,995$55,407,010$31,939,334$23,467,676
Cape May Point$8,349$26,803$1,757$25,046
Dennis Township$8,165$6,161,005$1,180,315$4,980,690
Ocean Twp (Ocn Cty)$6,203$6,934,480$1,233,928$5,700,552
Washington Twp (Burlington)$6,188$672,074$258,530$413,544
Estell Manor$5,043$2,125,160$1,096,449$1,028,711
Lower Cape May Regional$4,607$9,763,644$3,185,468$6,578,176
Seaside Park$4,020$156,210$47,675$108,535
Hampton Boro$3,957$896,297$540,134$356,163
Jersey City$3,551$418,471,290$306,778,250$111,693,040
Corbin City$3,448$698,501$460,596$237,905
Lower Alloways Creek$3,321$886,483$295,374$591,109
Tabernacle Township$3,182$5,466,194$3,098,716$2,367,478
Bass River Township$3,144$885,669$543,001$342,668
Lakeland Regional$3,085$4,828,036$1,885,356$2,942,680
Vernon Twp$2,973$25,062,223$15,496,308$9,565,915
Knowlton Twp$2,924$1,384,951$797,196$587,755
High Point Reg$2,828$6,400,454$3,762,176$2,638,278
Frelinghuysen Twp$2,826$616,900$204,237$412,663
Great Meadows Reg$2,826$5,907,304$3,388,713$2,518,591
Upper Township$2,808$10,113,224$4,603,732$5,509,492
Highlands Boro$2,703$638,065$240,748$397,317
Springfield Twp (Burlington)$2,608$1,213,549$637,202$576,347
Hampton Twp$2,597$1,276,100$478,930$797,170
Brick Twp$2,594$35,938,828$12,676,711$23,262,117
Middle Township$2,592$13,485,581$7,667,110$5,818,471
Delaware Valley Reg.$2,577$3,997,620$1,799,575$2,198,045
Wildwood City$2,548$5,185,220$3,192,420$1,992,800
Bethleham Twp$2,471$1,542,185$615,738$926,447
Franklin Twp$2,414$748,291$272,670$475,621
White Twp$2,402$1,743,789$645,929$1,097,860
Logan Township$2,271$5,395,095$3,001,254$2,393,841
Little Egg Harbor Twp$2,238$9,677,667$6,734,744$2,942,923
Union Beach$2,225$8,348,950$6,493,674$1,855,276
Washington Twp (Morris)$2,151$8,042,922$3,293,025$4,749,897
Kittatinny Reg$2,107$6,042,454$3,848,561$2,193,893
Gloucester City$2,082$30,074,492$26,293,335$3,781,157
North Warren Reg$2,056$4,995,326$3,103,732$1,891,594
Alloway Twp$2,041$3,719,711$2,730,008$989,703
Washington Twp (Gloucester)$2,035$50,044,915$35,492,284$14,552,631


Notice that this list isn't random.  Most of these districts are in South Jersey, often at the Jersey Shore.

How much excess money do overaided districts get?

I am not going to list all of the overaided districts, but the total excess aid is $597 million.

Where does the money go?

Drawing data from these charts:

The $597 million in excess aid is not evenly distributed across New Jersey.   In some counties, like Cape May, almost every districts is overaided.  In Union County literally no district is overaided and in Bergen, Middlesex and Essex Counties almost no districts are overaided.

Here are the net aid surpluses and deficits for NJ counties:

The above chart is simply total aid and not per student aid, but as you can see above, it is NJ's suburban counties that tend to do very poorly in aid and rural and Shore counties do well.

When you look at just the excess money the same trend of Shore and rural overaiding is still apparent, but you see Hudson County gets more excess aid than any other county.

Hudson County only has three overaided districts - Jersey City, Hoboken, and Weehawken - but Jersey City's $111 million in excess aid is more than the excess aid of any other county.

Finally, this chart shows what percentage of districts in a county are overaided.

The Savage Inequalities in New Jersey state aid only look random, but there are patterns.  Rural areas, exurbs, the Jersey Shore, and gentrified cities are privileged.  Suburban districts, be their Republican or Democratic, affluent or working class, are screwed.

See: Adjustment Aid, What It Is, and Who Gets It

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