Budget Breakdown: The Billions Spent on Education

NJ Spotlight | July 30, 2018 | Budget
In the second special NJTV News report on Garden State budget, NJ Spotlight’s John Reitmeyer looks at the single biggest spending item, $15 billion on education

In the second “Budget Breakdown,” a multipart analysis by NJTV News on New Jersey’s $37.4 billion budget for the 2019 fiscal year, John Reitmeyer, NJ Spotlight’s budget and public finance writer, delves into the spending on education, the biggest item.

Discussing education’s $15 billion allocation with NJTV’s Rhonda Schaffler, Reitmeyer points out that’s more than 40 percent of the total budget, or “…enough money to fully fund a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River, with some money left over to buy some new trains.”

The largest portion of education funding, about $9 billion, goes toward what’s known as “formula aid” to school districts. Another $2.5 billion goes to pay for retired teachers’ pension and health-benefit costs.

The two also discuss how education spending affects property taxes in New Jersey.

Read the full story on NJTV News Online, a content partner of NJ Spotlight.

Budget Breakdown, part one examined the state’s grossly underfunded public-employee pension system.