Sunday, April 23, 2017

State Aid Disparities Worsen for 2017-18

This post and the underlying data were accurate at the time of writing, but in June 2017 the legislature changed the state aid allotment.  This post reflects the new, updated aid distribution

The Department of Education has finally calculated Uncapped Aid figures.  I have gotten these data via an OPRA request and put everything online.

As expected, another year of Chris Christie's frozen state aid distribution means that New Jersey's state aid disparities have become even worse.

In 2016-17, the 212 overaided districts had a total surplus of $618 million and the 379 underaided districts had a total deficit of $1.93 billion.

But for 2017-18 things are even more unjust:

  • There are 222 overaided districts with a cumulative surplus of $696,882,364.  ($27 million of this excess is from Interdistrict Choice)
  • There are 369 districts with a cumulative deficit of $2.072 billion.* 
I do not know the Extraordinary Aid deficit, but it is at least $100 million.

Additional Material:

  • The median NJ district gets $4,031 per student in K-12 state aid.
  • The median NJ district is underaided by $460 per student (compared to uncapped aid.)
  • The median NJ district gets 82% of its Uncapped Aid. 
  • There are 72 districts that get 200% or more of their Uncapped Aid.
  • Of the 222 overaided districts, 89 are overaided by $2,000 or more per student.
  • The total excess aid of the overaided districts is $696.9 million.
  • Of the 369 underaided districts, there are 127 districts that get 49.9% or less of their uncapped aid.
  • Of the 369 underaided districts, there are 113 that have aid deficits greater than $2,000 per student and 58 with deficits greater than $4,000 per student.
  • The total deficit for the underaided districts is $2.072 billion.

And to provide extreme examples:

  • Asbury Park is the most overaided in per student terms, with an excess of $11,278 per student. SFRA's target for Asbury Park is $13,401 per student, but Asbury Park's actual aid is $25,595 per student.
  • Deal is the most overaided in percentage terms, getting 1086% of what SFRA recommends. This is due to Interdistrict Choice money, although Deal is a small recipient of Adjustment Aid.
  • Bound Brook is the most underaided in per student terms, with a deficit of $10,592 per student. (It gets $8.2 million when it should get $26 million for 1,724 students.)
  • Chesterfield is the most underaided in percentage terms, getting only 9.5% of what it is supposed to. It gets $419,983 when it should get $4.22 million.
  • Jersey City has the most untapped Local Fair Share. Jersey City's Local Fair Share is now $370 million, but its actual tax levy is $114 million. 

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