Cracking the Books: How Well Do State Education Departments Report Public School Spending?

New Jersey

C+
Scoring
Per Pupil Expenditures 40.00 / 45
Total Expenditure Data 23.00 / 30
Average Salary Data 0.00 / 10
Public Accessibility 15.00 / 15
Total Score 78.00 / 100

Note: Scores reflect the data provided on each state's education department website as of December 31, 2012. For more information, please see the Grading Criteria section.

Per Pupil Expenditures

New Jersey’s Department of Education provides more than ten years of Taxpayers’ Guides to Education Spending up to the 2011–12 school year (the most recent year is budgeted only). The reports contain total per pupil expenditure data. New Jersey fails to provide a table or graph that would allow citizens to easily compare changes in per pupil expenditures over time.

Per Pupil Expenditures
Metric
Category State District Score
Type of Per Pupil Expenditures Total Total
Credit Full Credit Full Credit
Years of Data 10+ years 10+ years
Score 10 / 10 10 / 10 20 / 20
Most Recent Year 2011-12 2011-12
Score 10 / 10 10 / 10 20 / 20
Historical Comparison None None
Score 0 / 2.5 0 / 2.5 0 / 5
Total 40 / 45

Total Expenditure Data

New Jersey provides more than ten years of total expenditure data, including capital expenditures. Total salary expenditures, including benefits, are available at the summary and object levels as a percentage of total costs and per pupil costs. New Jersey is missing the most recent year of expenditures and fails to provide pension data.

Total Expenditure Data
Metric
Category State District Score
Total Expenditures Object / Summary Object / Summary
Score 4 / 4 4 / 4 8 / 8
Capital Expenditures Included Included
Score 2 / 2 2 / 2 4 / 4
Total Salary Data Object / Summary as % of total costs and per pupil with Benefits Object / Summary as % of total costs and per pupil with Benefits
Score 1 / 2 1/ 2 2 / 4
Pension Data None None
Score 0 / 2 0 / 2 0 / 4
Years of Data 10+ years 10+ years
Score 2.5 / 2.5 2.5 / 2.5 5 / 5
Most Recent Year 2010–11 2010–11
Score 2 / 2.5 2 / 2.5 4 / 5
Total 23 / 30

Average Salary Data

New Jersey fails to provide any data regarding average employee salaries. (Note: New Jersey provides data showing only the average sal ary expenditure per pupil.)

Average Salary Data
Metric
Category State District Score
Categories Covered None None
Score 0 / 1.5 0 / 1.5 0 / 3
Employee Benefits n / a n / a
Score 0 / 1 0 / 1 0 / 2
Years of Data n / a n / a
Score 0 / 1.25 0 / 1.25 0 / 2.5
Most Recent Year n / a n / a
Score 0 / 1.25 0 / 1.25 0 / 2.5
Total 0 / 10

Public Accessibility

Navigation: New Jersey’s Department of Education website is easy to navigate. The homepage contains a link to “Programs and Services,” which includes a link to the “Finance” page. On the right-side menu bar, there is a link to “Comparative Spending Guide,” which was the former name of the Taxpayers’ Guide to Education Spending reports contain therein.

Ease of Public Analysis: New Jersey’s financial data are provided in both Excel spreadsheets and PDF format.

Public Accessibility
Category Metric Score
Navigation Full Credit: Very easy for a layperson to locate the desired data. All relevant data are in close proximity with a main menu that is clear and commonsensical. 5 / 5
Ease of Public Analysis

Format: PDF and Excel spreadsheets

10 / 10
Total 15/15

Links