New Newsworks Column: How does Asbury Park Schools Spend $30K Per Student Per Year?

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It starts here:

Local news agencies recently reported that Asbury Park High School (Monmouth County, New Jersey) has a 49 percent graduation rate. Only 2 percent of the senior class scored higher than 1550 on their SAT’s, a measure of college and career readiness.  This systemic failure doesn’t start in high school: 87 percent of third graders can’t read at grade level and 47 percent fail the basic skills test in math. 

All this for $30,485 per student per year, an amount so high that New Jersey Gov. Christie, during his gubernatorial campaigns, used it as a poster child for school spending profligacy. Where does that money come from and where does it go?

Read the rest here.

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1 Comment

  • StateAidGuy, December 8, 2014 @ 2:59 pm Reply

    This is a good piece on Asbury Park's spending and state aid. I liked how you said we have an “Abbott-ish” aid distribution, even though SFRA technically supplanted the Abbott regime.

    I know you had space limitations, but I have to add that Asbury Park is NOT that low-resource a district. Asbury Park's equalized valuation is $1.2 billion and it has 2351 students, therefore its valuation per student is about $520,000.

    This is a much higher figure than what most of the other Abbotts have. East Orange's valuation per student is about $280,000. Irvington's is about $320,000. Trenton's is about $180,000.

    The point is: not only is Asbury Park's state aid per student extreme, but it has no fiscal justification. If the state sent as much money per student to Trenton it would have a kind of equity logic to it since Trenton's resources are so weak; sending that much money to Asbury Park makes Asbury Park NJ's worst aid hoarder.

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