30% of Brigantine’s property taxes supports its public school system. The City of Brigantine is a Type 1 school district, one of the few out of over 550 such NJ school districts, with an appointed (by the mayor) 7-member Board of Education.
The school budget is voted on by a 5-member Board of School Estimate comprised of the mayor, two other City Council members and two Board of Education members.
By presenting this 2020-2021 school year data from the district’s website and the school administration, we continue to enable and encourage taxpayers to hold accountable those responsible for educating our students for the goals, quality and cost of that education.
- Total student enrollment continues to decline. In 2009 for example, the number was 1100. Now, total district enrollment – pre-k through high school, (Brigantine is a sending district to Atlantic City High School) is 610, with 444 pupils in our Community School (consolidated finally in 2019).
- The per-pupil cost for the 2021-2022 school year is $32,000. The teacher/student ratio is 8:1. Total 2021-2022 appropriations are $21 million.
- The number of listed employees is 125, 4 less than in 2019. Listed salaries total $8.6 million, with 24 salaries at or above $100,000.
- Since 2016, the school tax rate has been reduced, but only by slightly more than a penny, $.014, remaining this year at $.477.
- Because of the pandemic, Statewide academic and other school assessments in the spring of 2020 were cancelled. Pre-pandemic, Brigantine’s public school had overall mediocre academic assessments while leading the public to believe they were “great”. This next school year we hope our school will show progress in educating all or most of its students to the extent of their abilities in the fundamental, necessary subjects and at a reasonable cost.
- Employee benefits excluding pensions and SS paid by the State are 38% of salaries.
- The agreement between the Brigantine Board of Education and the Brigantine Education Association expires this June 30. Pre-pandemic and on a
Statewide comparison basis, the district had a pattern of high administrative and teacher salary costs.
We’ve recommended elimination of longevity for new hires, removing it as part of the base salary, no payment for unused sick leave, reconsidering the teacher/student ratio, and any other relevant “best practices” to reduce costs.