The State has issued the final list of how much money each district will receive from our $268 million share of the federal Education Jobs Fund money. Major urban centers are the big winners, per our funding formula – Newark will get the biggest share, about $24 million – but other districts will see far less. From NJ Spotlight’s analysis: “From Avalon to Deal to Essex Fells, 25 districts received less than $10,000, barely enough to pay for a single teacher’s health benefits, let alone salary. More than 170 districts received less than $50,000, the average salary of a New Jersey teacher in 2010.”
Looking back on the recent NJEA press releases that excoriated Gov. Christie for delaying the application for the money, one wonders what the head office was thinking. In the last one, President Barbara Keshishian wrote, “If his objective was to keep 3,900 New Jersey educators unemployed for as long as possible and to create maximum chaos and confusion in our classrooms, he has certainly succeeded.”
The math is right; the logic isn’t. It’s true that $268 million divided by 3,900 is $68,718, about what a district would pay for a brand-new teacher (about $50K for a starting salary, plus the cost of health benefits). But everyone knew that minimum teacher salaries would play no part in the dispersal. Since about 1/3 of districts received less than $50K, there were never 3,900 jobs on the line.