Don’t hype school spending; real figures are bad enough
Jun 30, 2013 | 2089 views | 1 1 comments | 107 107 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Dear Editor:

I applaud Michael Fischetti’s focus on outrageous spending in our school district. I’ve been highlighting this issue for years: before, during and after my term on the school board. The bottom line is that 70 percent of the budget goes toward personnel. Just last yearthe board voted 8-1 (I was the 1) to award the teachers’ union a 10.8 percent raise over three years.

He maintains that the district is spending $30,000 per student, but that number is wrong. He’s taking the entire budget--$62.4 million for the school year now ending--but not dividing that by all of the students. There are about 1,750 students in the district K-12 system, but there are another 1,300children enrolled in the three charter schools and the pre-K program.Charters and pre-schools are not funded at the same level as the district’s K-12 program, which often leads to confusion when discussing per-pupil costs.

The school board is responsible for the K-12 budget for the district schools and that’s what my letters have addressed. We’re spending $23,716 per K-12 student so far this year, according to the district’s own website ( That’s the second-highest amount among the state’s hundreds of K-12 districts, behind Asbury Park, and $10,000 more than the state average.

Unfortunately for all of us taxpayers, $23,716 isn’t enough for board president Leon Gold and the Kids First majority. They voted 6-3 in March to raise our school taxes another 4 percent because they refuse to figure out how nearly every other district in the state manages to spend significantly less than we do.

Maureen Sullivan
Former School Board Member

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July 02, 2013
And how many years have people been waiting for you to make some real concrete suggestions as to how to cut spending? To date, I have seen none from you and you were on the BOE. So how about you come up with a nice lengthy explanation as to how you would cut spending already b/c I see kids first cutting jobs and getting rid of the dead weight. I see them keeping the levy flat. And I see you complaining all the time but offering nothing in the way of solutions and I am quite honestly tired w/ people who make empty complaints especially when they are in a position to do something more than complain like you once were.