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An annual rite of spring, the state yesterday released its so-called Taxpayers Guide to Education Spending in New Jersey, detailing how much each district spends per pupil on everything from classroom supplies to food services.
On average, school spending per pupil for 2015-2016 was $14,939, or a roughly 2 percent increase over the year before. That includes all comparable costs across districts for expenses such as teacher and administrative salaries, supplies, and capital needs.
But what would appear straightforward doesn’t come without at least some debate about how the numbers are derived.
As has been the practice of the Christie administration since 2010, the data also counts the overall costs to districts, including pensions and transportation costs that are unique to each district and many of which borne by the state.
For the first time, that average topped $20,000 per pupil in 2015-2016, coming in at $20,385 or a nearly 4 percent increase from the year before.