Thursday, April 2, 2015

More Evidence of the Wrong Premise of the Bacon Lawsuit

The DOE came out with its data on per pupil school spending across NJ.
Counting pensions and FICA contributions, NJ's average per pupil spending is just below $20,000 per student.

Most of the lowest spending schools are actually charter schools, which receive no facilities money, no Adjustment Aid (which is irrelevant for most charters since most charters are in districts that get little to no Adjustment Aid), and only 90% of what their sending districts spend.

The lowest spending regular districts are the following (these figures include pension costs):
  • East Newark $13,110
  • Guttenberg $12,914.
  • East Greenwich $13,884
  • Bellmawr $14,498
  • Rockaway $13,770
  • Hammonton $14,384
  • Berlin Boro $14,819
  • Harrison (Gloucester)  $14,297
  • Fair Haven  $14,793
  • South River, $14,524

Only a single one of these districts, Hammonton, is a plaintiff in the Bacon lawsuit.  

The other Bacons are all above $15,000.  Lakewood, Egg Harbor City, and Woodbine are above $20,000, although Lakewood's spending is skewed upwards by high transportation and OOD costs for its enormous private school population.  

This is yet more evidence that the premise of the Bacon lawsuit is mistaken.  The Bacon districts are themselves diverse financially and some of them should get more money, but as a group they are neither the most underaided nor underfunded in New Jersey.  If any districts need special relief it is not the districts the Education Law Center is representing.