Looking for greater student performance at a lower cost
Jun 16, 2013 | 3190 views | 2 2 comments | 188 188 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Dear Editor:

I am pleased that both the President of the Hoboken Board of Education and a former member of the Board responded to my recent letter to the Editor. Please note that all of the figures used for Hoboken and other districts came directly from each respective district web site. The figures for Hoboken, just like the others, were calculated from the Board of Education budget as follows: total budget ($64.7 million) divided by the number of students (about 2,100). This means the Hoboken Board of Education spends over $30,000 per student per year. The President and former board member do not agree on basic cost issues in the aggregate, but if the President of the Board of Education is correct about student cost being in line with other comparable district, then that raises an interesting question. Why, if instructional costs are in line with comparable districts, is the total cost of the district so high, and what are the major costs contributing to this?

My aim here is to highlight what seems to be an unusually high per student cost, and expect that those decision makers in charge will bring about greater students performance at lower costs.

Michael Fischetti

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June 17, 2013
Michael. You are not comparing the per pupil costs accurately if you use the state reported figures using the standardized state wide formula for the state or all other towns and a completely different set of figures and calculating per pupil costs for the city of Hoboken. And I will give you a quick example of how you are wrong that I believe was already pointed out. The city provides pre-K to hundreds of kids that don't show up in that 2,100 kids you say the BOE is educating but the cost of pre-K is part of that $64.7mm you cite.

Stick with using the figures on the state website. Those figures accurately portray the costs in a standardized manner across every community in the state that allow you to compare Hoboken to every town.
michael fischetti
June 23, 2013
Thank you for your response. Please note that my last letter says let's accept the State figures that the Pres. of BOE wants to use. If we do this, however, then why is the total expenditure of the Hoboken BOE so high? My intention is to promote a rational dialog and, also to highlight a total expenditures that appears to be very high compared to other school districts in NJ. We all want better student performance and more efficiency.