Watson Coleman: New Math Used by Christie Administration to Calculate Student Spending is Irresponsibly Misleading

(TRENTON) – Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Mercer) on Friday released the following statement criticizing the new methodology used by the Christie administration to calculate how much school districts are spending on individual students:

“It’s distressing that student spending figures have been manipulated in such a way so that the governor can defend his relentless assault on public education.

“Under this new methodology, the total per-pupil costs now include, for the first time, debt service for school construction costs, Social Security and health care costs for retired teachers and other expenses that have no impact whatsoever on how a student learns in the classroom.

“These funds do not afford school districts new books, computers or new teacher hires, and yet they will be considered when determining how much should be spent on the education of our children.

“This new approach and the revised figures are misleading, and serve no other purpose than to advance the governor’s agenda at the expense of New Jersey’s public school students.”