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Archive for March, 2010
The 2010 Comparative Spending Guide was recently released by the New Jersey Department of Education. Each district is rated by 21 indicators ranging from classroom salaries/benefits to operation and maintenance of the physical plant, and the numbers arrived at are presented as a “cost per pupil” enumeration. Both state average and median figures are provided as well. As voting on school budgets quickly approaches (in Jersey, it is April 20), this guide can provide valuable information for those who present budgets and those who vote on them. For differing viewpoints on this most critical budget, please consult the New Jersey Education Association and the New Jersey School Boards Association. News articles on New Jersey school budgets can be perused here.
The Nation’s Report Card: Reading 2009 has just been published; the executive summary is also available. State profiles may be examined as well as previous reports . Related readings on reading can be found at : The Philadelphia Inquirer, CNN, the Associated Press, The New York Times, and U.S. Department of Education.
Possibly lost among all the bad news emanating from Trenton is the fact that library services across the state will be devastated. According to Norma Blake, the State Librarian for New Jersey, the 74% decrease in state aid will cripple libraries. Among services targeted would be the interlibrary system within the state. Libraries would have to resort to book rate mail that is far slower than the present system and also costs money for postage that libraries have no funds for. It will mean faculty, staff, and students will have to subsidize the shipping costs or travel to the libraries where the materials are located. In addition, the loss of state aid would mean that this library will need to pick up the costs of two previously subsidized databases – the heavily-used Academic Search Premier and Business Source Premier to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars. Other databases are also threatened. Additional measures call for the State Library to be run by Rutgers University, a partnership unheard of in other states. More can be read from : Library Journal, New Jersey Library Association, NorthJersey.com, and “talking points” from Norma Blake. UPDATE: A very informative article, along with quotes from some library leaders, is found in this Star-Ledger article: Budget Imperils New Jersey Libraries.
This handy CRS report – FY2011 Budget Documents: Internet and GPO Availability – guides you, gentle reader, to online versions of the various budget documents submitted each year, including the budget justitications for the various departments.
Don’t shoot the messenger, but on p.80 of the Fiscal 2011 Budget in Brief, NJCU is slated to lose that amount of money. Governor Christie visited the Star-Ledger for a wide-ranging discussion on his budget; you can read and watch it here. You can also read the reaction of the NJACSU (New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities).
By using this site from the NJ Department of Education, anyone can find the amount of school aid cuts proposed by Christie; for example, Jersey City will lose $23.3 million. Additional details are available from The New York Times , Philadelphia Inquirer, Star-Ledger, Courier Post, Trenton Times, Jersey Journal, and the Bergen Record.