The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) released its annual Taxpayers’ Guide to Education Spending on April 7.
The information includes a district’s total per-pupil spending, which includes costs paid by the state on the district’s behalf and fees and tuitions paid by students. It also provides figures on “budgetary cost per pupil” — expenses that are only paid for by the district, while excluding costs that aren’t comparable to other districts, like transportation or facilities expenses.
The average total spending per pupil in 2014-15 was $19,652, or 2.2 percent higher than the previous year, according to the education department. The average budgetary per pupil cost was $14,736 in 2014-15, a 1.3 percent increase from the year prior. The guide also compares districts of similar size and ranks them in various categories, such as total administrative costs, student-teacher ratios or the ratios of faculty to administrative staff.
The guide was first produced in the spring of 1997 as the Comparative Spending Guide. The guide’s name was changed in 2011 when the Department of Education developed a new total spending measure that continues to provide a more comprehensive representation of district and state expenditures.