How much is the total comparative cost per pupil in Newark anyway? Take your pick. The NJ DOE says its $19,305, or at least was in 2008-2009. Gov. Christie says it’s $23,141. (See NJ Spotlight here for more analysis; John Mooney also has more recent numbers from the DOE, about $2K less per pupil.) The Education Law Center’s David Sciarra writes in the New York Times this week that “Newark spends $10,500 per pupil.” Bruce Baker says that, while Newark’s per pupil costs are relatively high, “Newark is not some massive outlier.”
The New York Times asks a panel of experts (David Sciarra, Rudy Crew, Richard Rothstein, Kevin Carey, et.al.), “Can $100 Million Change Newark’s Schools?”
Rick Hess at EdWeek adds,
The likelihood that his $100 million was going to make any difference was already negligible. Why? Well, first off, astonishingly enough, in the scheme of school spending it just wasn’t that much. Newark is spending $940 million this year. They are already spending more than $22,000 per pupil and yet graduate less than half their students. Even including the one-to-one match that Zuckerberg required, the gift will yield $50 million a year for four years. That’s just over five cents on the dollar. It’s hardly enough to transform a district that has already been subject to vast new outlays and court-mandated reforms for four decades.
The Record looks at dropping test scores in Paterson, where only 36.6% of third-graders passed the NJASK 3 last March. Also in The Record, out of 29 applications for new charters, the DOE gave approval to 6 of them.
The Star Ledger Editorial Board notes today that charter schools exist “without their fair share of state funding…They’re public schools, but get only a portion of what a local district spends per student – and, even worse, no public funding for facilities at all.”
Aaron Houston (“The Auditor”) in The Star-Ledger psychoanalyzes Senator Teresa Ruiz’s behavior during the hearing on Race To The Top this week, whom “insiders” say “is caught between loyalty to her Democratic colleagues and loyalty to Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo, for whom she works when she’s not in Trenton.”
NJ Spotlight looks at one of the lightning rods of education reform in NJ: the 1967 seniority clause in state statute that requires a school district to use seniority in determining lay-offs.
The Philadelphia Inquirer interviews scholarship students to area private schools who “thrive outside of Camden.”