New Jersey per-pupil cost is $17,800

Eastern United States Map
Eastern United States Map

From the Wall Street Journal. (H/T Michele Bachmann)


The Christie administration has recalculated the amount it says New Jersey public school districts spend per pupil, increasing the state average rate by several thousand dollars to more than $17,800.

The figure, from the 2009-10 school year, has been adjusted to include costs such as transportation, federal funding, debt payments and legal judgments that can vary greatly from district to district. In the 2008-09 school year, using the previous calculation, the state average was $13,200 per student.

The Christie administration says the new figure is more transparent and complete.

[…]Gov. Chris Christie has frequently said that Newark schools spend nearly $25,000 per student, despite what he calls failing results. The new spending guide shows Newark’s spending at nearly $23,000 per student, up from about $17,600 under previous estimates.

Compare that with the average tuition with higher-performing private or parochial schools.



Elementary: $6,733
Secondary: $10,549
Combined: $10,045
(Digest 2009, Chapter 2, Table 59)


Elementary: $4,944
Secondary: $7,826
Combined: $9,066
(Digest 2009, Chapter 2, Table 59)

I think we need to put in a national voucher system, or, failing that, we should abolish the federal Department of Education completely and leave education to the states and municipalities.

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3 thoughts on “New Jersey per-pupil cost is $17,800”

  1. I believe in areas like this we need to take a closer look at those segments of the population that are failing. There have been studies that show,, when normalizing for common characteristics (read: removing the hispanic and african american elements), private and public school test scores were very similar.

    I know the religious right wants to start the type of religious schools here in the US that are present in the mid-east, but I think that’s a dangerous idea. Now, if the vouchers can’t be used at a religious school, under certain conditions I could get behind them.

    BUT, you would still have to answer how are we going to change the African American’s shifting cultural view that education isn’t important while rapping and sports are? All the vouchers in the world are not going to improve this and then you will only have the left screaming, “see, it didn’t work, we need to fund such and such…”

    Education only works when those enrolled are willing recipients of the knowledge imbued. Address how vouchers will change these segments of the populations views and then you will have a strong argument.

    As a side note, NJ is spending way too much and I bet a lot of that is not on books and education but on the social programs trying to stop the drop-out rates, etc.


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