NEW JERSEY – The Department of Education Wednesday released the 2020 Taxpayers’ Guide to Education Spending to help New Jersey residents learn more about the spending practices of school districts across the state.
“For decades, the Department of Education’s annual guide has provided members of the public with insight and information about the expenditures of their public school district,” said Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillan, Acting Commissioner of Education. “This kind of transparent, unfiltered information can be the first step toward helping residents better understand the needs and priorities of their local schools.”
For the 2019-2020 school year, the average Budgetary Cost Per Pupil was $17,028. The 2019-2020 amount is an increase of $897 (5.6 percent) over actual spending from the prior year. This represents the average for New Jersey school districts that serve students from preschool to grade 12, charter schools, county vocational school districts, and county special services school districts. The Budgetary Cost Per Pupil calculation does not include costs that can vary substantially from district to district, such as transportation, payments on debt for school construction, and tuition to send students to out-of-district programs.
The guide also groups school districts by size and the grade levels they serve. It ranks them in 17 spending categories, such as total administrative costs and total classroom instruction, as well as staff indicators such as student/teacher ratios and ratios of faculty to administrative staff.
The Taxpayers’ Guide to Education Spending also provides a measure of “Total Spending Per Pupil,” which includes the Budgetary Cost Per Pupil plus all other district expenditures, including expenditures that can vary substantially from district to district, such as tuition payments for students sent out of district, transportation for public and nonpublic students, lunch programs covered by student fees, and pension payments made by the State on behalf of school districts. The latest available Total Spending Per Pupil, which is for the 2018-2019 school year, was $22,816, an increase of $1,126 (5.2 percent) from the prior year (note this is for the 2018-2019 school year, while the Budgetary Cost Per Pupil is for 2019-2020).
The full reports can be found on the Department’s Taxpayers’ Guide to Education Spending webpage.