"The annual spending guide is a tool designed to provide transparency to New Jerseyans about how schools spend their taxpayer dollars to educate students," said Acting Education Commissioner Kimberley Harrington.
The Taxpayers' Guide to Education Spending includes two types of total expenditures for school districts' annual budgets:
- Total Spending Per Pupil – Comprises all district expenditures, including costs paid by the state on behalf of districts, as well as fees and tuition paid for out-of-district programs; and
- Budgetary Cost Per Pupil – Comprises costs borne by the school district, excluding costs that aren't comparable among school districts, such as transportation and facilities costs.
For the 2015-16 school year, the average Total Spending Per Pupil in the state, which includes pension payments made by the state and other ancillary costs that vary by district, is $20,385. This is 3.8 percentage points higher than the prior year's average of $19,641.
The Budgetary Cost Per Pupil, which does not include pension payments made by the state and other district-specific costs, increased by 1.4 percentage points, from $14,736 in the 2014-15 school year to $14,939 in 2015-16.
The Taxpayers' Guide to Education Spending can be found online here.