Sunday LeftoversMay 29, 2011
Tweety-BirdMay 31, 2011
The system for funding and operating our public schools is hopelessly wasteful: a fractured, Byzantine system that allows good money to be wasted on redundant programs and unnecessary bureaucracies. The problem lies with New Jersey’s overabundance of local government. With 566 municipalities and 616 school districts, we simply have too many administrative entities trying to do the same thing. New Jersey taxpayers elect mayors to govern towns with fewer than 25 residents and pay superintendants to oversee districts with fewer than 50 students.
The waste is remarkable. Consider Mendham, home of Gov. Chris Christie. It’s a single community, but the town is split into two local governments: Mendham Borough and Mendham Township. Each municipality has its own K-8 school district, each with fewer than 1,000 enrolled students and each with a superintendant making more than $150,000 per year.
Andrew Bruck, author of “Overruled by Home Rule,” makes the case in the Courier-Post for state funding of school district and municipality consolidation proposals.