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Old 04-11-2008, 01:16 PM
 
Location: Piscataway, New Jersey
524 posts, read 1,380,570 times
Reputation: 143
Default Does New Jersey really have too many school districts?

Does New Jersey really have "too many" school districts?

I don't know the answer, but I did find something that seems quite interesting.

From the website of The National Center for Education Statistics, I found two sources of data. They are a few years old, but I think the conclusions are probably valid.

1. Enrollment in public elementary and secondary schools, by state - projected 2002 enrollment

2. Number of public school districts, by state: 2003-04

I merged both sources of data into a single excel spreadsheet. I then divided total enrollment by the number of school districts.

I expected (based on the media hysteria over how many school districts we have) to see New Jersey near the top when I sort (in ascending order) states by the number of students per school district.

In fact, we're #19.

state,students per district
Montana,345.05
Vermont,354.19
North Dakota,491.09
Nebraska,558.20
South Dakota,720.63
Maine,903.93
Oklahoma,1124.06
New Hampshire,1260.70
Iowa,1322.50
Arkansas,1420.67
Wyoming,1488.54
Kansas,1514.02
Arizona,1643.58
Missouri,1728.79
Minnesota,1820.29
District of Columbia,1873.24
Wisconsin,1979.19
New Jersey,2122.65
Illinois,2142.70
Idaho,2157.18
Michigan,2229.60
Ohio,2352.48
Alaska,2472.82
Massachusetts,2567.10
Oregon,2706.47
Pennsylvania,2918.41
Connecticut,3002.91
Mississippi,3024.48
Indiana,3174.12
Washington,3357.19
Texas,3357.24
Rhode Island,3430.15
New York,3560.49
New Mexico,3636.58
Delaware,3637.31
Kentucky,3647.06
Colorado,4110.43
West Virginia,4937.51
Alabama,5568.95
California,5972.49
North Carolina,6219.22
Tennessee,6829.38
South Carolina,7775.31
Utah,8070.77
Georgia,8179.82
Louisiana,8616.61
Virginia,8751.67
Nevada,21398.53
Florida,33950.22
Maryland,36097.83
Hawaii,187105.00
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Old 04-11-2008, 01:24 PM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
10,428 posts, read 27,746,323 times
Reputation: 9525
It is said that we have 3 political parties. The Democrats, the Republicans and the Teachers Union. The Teachers Union it is said is the most powerful. They have brainwashed the gullible among us into thinking how underpaid Teachers are among other things.

So like many NJ bureaucratic disasters, yes NJ has far too many school districts. Why not condense/combine and save money? Nawwww cant do that. Then they might have to lower the property taxes.
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Old 04-11-2008, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Piscataway, New Jersey
524 posts, read 1,380,570 times
Reputation: 143
When seen in proportion to the size of student enrollment, many states have fewer districts than we do. But 18 states have more!

Even if one were to eliminate all states with enrollments less than half a million (which leaves us with 29 states), New Jersey has more students per district than Oklahoma, Arizona, Missouri, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
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Old 04-11-2008, 01:34 PM
 
Location: NJ
11,507 posts, read 19,898,086 times
Reputation: 4315
Quote:
Originally Posted by syncmaster View Post
Does New Jersey really have "too many" school districts?

I don't know the answer, but I did find something that seems quite interesting.

From the website of The National Center for Education Statistics, I found two sources of data. They are a few years old, but I think the conclusions are probably valid.

1. Enrollment in public elementary and secondary schools, by state - projected 2002 enrollment

2. Number of public school districts, by state: 2003-04

I merged both sources of data into a single excel spreadsheet. I then divided total enrollment by the number of school districts.

I expected (based on the media hysteria over how many school districts we have) to see New Jersey near the top when I sort (in ascending order) states by the number of students per school district.

In fact, we're #19.

state,students per district
Montana,345.05
Vermont,354.19
North Dakota,491.09
Nebraska,558.20
South Dakota,720.63
Maine,903.93
Oklahoma,1124.06
New Hampshire,1260.70
Iowa,1322.50
Arkansas,1420.67
Wyoming,1488.54
Kansas,1514.02
Arizona,1643.58
Missouri,1728.79
Minnesota,1820.29
District of Columbia,1873.24
Wisconsin,1979.19
New Jersey,2122.65
Illinois,2142.70
Idaho,2157.18
Michigan,2229.60
Ohio,2352.48
Alaska,2472.82
Massachusetts,2567.10
Oregon,2706.47
Pennsylvania,2918.41
Connecticut,3002.91
Mississippi,3024.48
Indiana,3174.12
Washington,3357.19
Texas,3357.24
Rhode Island,3430.15
New York,3560.49
New Mexico,3636.58
Delaware,3637.31
Kentucky,3647.06
Colorado,4110.43
West Virginia,4937.51
Alabama,5568.95
California,5972.49
North Carolina,6219.22
Tennessee,6829.38
South Carolina,7775.31
Utah,8070.77
Georgia,8179.82
Louisiana,8616.61
Virginia,8751.67
Nevada,21398.53
Florida,33950.22
Maryland,36097.83
Hawaii,187105.00
Hawaii has 1 school district (thank you Snapple Real Facts, LOL)

I'm actually surprised as well. It would be interesting to see the ratio of administrators to students by state - that may be more telling.
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Old 04-11-2008, 03:48 PM
 
9,125 posts, read 22,375,268 times
Reputation: 3303
Quote:
Originally Posted by tahiti View Post
Hawaii has 1 school district (thank you Snapple Real Facts, LOL)

I'm actually surprised as well. It would be interesting to see the ratio of administrators to students by state - that may be more telling.
Well, you know there's one superintendent per district, so there's a one-to-one relationship there. So, in NJ, you've got one super per 2,000 or so students, whereas in GA, you've got one per 8,000. There's probably some assistant supers in both cases, but I'd be willing to bet that the ratios of assistants also roughly approximate the ratio of supers.
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Old 04-11-2008, 04:17 PM
 
Location: Stewartsville, NJ
7,577 posts, read 14,204,743 times
Reputation: 1173
Quote:
Originally Posted by desertsun41 View Post
It is said that we have 3 political parties. The Democrats, the Republicans and the Teachers Union. The Teachers Union it is said is the most powerful. They have brainwashed the gullible among us into thinking how underpaid Teachers are among other things.

So like many NJ bureaucratic disasters, yes NJ has far too many school districts. Why not condense/combine and save money? Nawwww cant do that. Then they might have to lower the property taxes.
I wouldn't be opposed to that. We have an average of 10 students per teacher and our administrator makes close to 90K/year! We have several neighboring small townships like ours - I would be all for merging if it saved us money on our property taxes. They all end up at the same High School anyway!
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Old 04-11-2008, 05:11 PM
 
Location: West Cardassia, NC
2,509 posts, read 3,726,496 times
Reputation: 1226
Quote:
Originally Posted by wileynj View Post
I wouldn't be opposed to that. We have an average of 10 students per teacher and our administrator makes close to 90K/year! We have several neighboring small townships like ours - I would be all for merging if it saved us money on our property taxes. They all end up at the same High School anyway!
wileynj - How about 1 school district per county. That might put a dent in administrative spending!
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Old 04-11-2008, 05:24 PM
 
Location: NJ
11,507 posts, read 19,898,086 times
Reputation: 4315
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobKovacs View Post
Well, you know there's one superintendent per district, so there's a one-to-one relationship there. So, in NJ, you've got one super per 2,000 or so students, whereas in GA, you've got one per 8,000. There's probably some assistant supers in both cases, but I'd be willing to bet that the ratios of assistants also roughly approximate the ratio of supers.

i'd like to see the ratio of all administrative personnel.
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Old 04-11-2008, 05:24 PM
 
Location: NJ
11,507 posts, read 19,898,086 times
Reputation: 4315
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheEmissary View Post
wileynj - How about 1 school district per county. That might put a dent in administrative spending!
i'm not opposed to that.
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Old 04-11-2008, 05:48 PM
 
240 posts, read 625,079 times
Reputation: 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by desertsun41 View Post
They have brainwashed the gullible among us into thinking how underpaid Teachers are among other things.
As a teacher, I just finished up another week of educating a class of 21 first graders. To be perfectly honest, I am too tired to adequately argue your ignorance. I hold a Masters Degree in Education. Compared to other occupations holding the same degree - teacher salaries are comparibly less. In my school, which is the same as the others in NJ with only opening and closing time variations, my day begins at 8:00 to get the classroom ready. Our "In School" time ends at 4:00 ish which is the typical 8 hour day. During the day I need to be a teacher, nurse, social worker and psychologist to these young children. Their self worth and confidence rests on my shoulders. My job is both physically challenging as well as mentally. When I get home I am tired. I then have to correct papers and/or complete lesson plans for the week. Some nights I spend on the phone with parents who have concerns about their child. The best part comes when I finally have time to relax and come onto this forum to read a ridiculous remark as the one that is quoted above about how I am not underpaid. Why should I have to defend what I do and how much I make? Do you? Maybe the parents haven't been brainwashed and aren't "gullible." Maybe they see it for what it really is...a very important job!
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