Taxpayers in West Orange can now look at how their tax dollars are being spent by the school district -- cent by cent -- with a new guide released by the Department of Education.
The “2012 Taxpayers’ Guide to Education Spending” was released last week. This compressive guide includes “a full accounting for all dollars spent on ... schools to provide a complete picture of spending in the state,” according to a press release issued by the DOE.
The West Orange School District spent $21,236 per pupil in 2010-11, well above the state average of $17,352. West Orange also ranked 96 out of 106 similar school districts in the state when it came to total per pupil spending.
Only the budgeted costs per pupil were provided for the 2011-12 school year, which provide a less comprehensive picture of spending because it does not factor in pension payments, transportation costs, and other things.
Nonetheless, the budgeted costs were $15,543 last year in West Orange, ranking the district 89 out of 106.
Other costs in West Orange included:
• $10,095 in total classroom instruction costs using budgeted per pupil costs in 2011-12, which ranked 99 out of 106 school districts;
• $1,578 in total administration costs using budgeted per pupil costs in 2011-12, which ranked 88 out of 106 school districts; and
• $1,902 in total support services costs using budgeted per pupil costs in 2011-12, which ranked 43 out of 106 school districts.
The full guide to the West Orange School District’s spending can be found here.
Among other findings, the DOE’s guide found that there have been trends in three key areas statewide since the 2006-07 school year.
• The budgetary cost per pupil for instruction was virtually flat, rising from 59.0 percent to 59.1 percent;
• The budgetary cost per pupil for administration declined from 11.0 percent to 10.5 percent; and
• The budgetary cost per pupil for student support services rose from 15.1 percent to 15.6 percent.