2018-2019 SALARIES – BRIGANTINE PUBLIC SCHOOL EMPLOYEES. 30 % of Brigantine’s property taxes support its public school. The City of Brigantine is a Type 1 school district, one of the few in NJ, with an appointed, by the mayor, 7- member board of education.
Taxpayers also have no vote on the school budget which is voted upon by a board of school estimate whose members are the mayor, 2 other city council members, and 2 board of education members.
By presenting the following data from the school administration, the NJ Dept. of Education, and The Atlantic City Press, taxpayers will be better able to hold accountable those responsible for current district conditions, positive and negative, and to monitor any progress made where needed.
- Despite the continuing major decline in enrollment, the board of education didn’t vote for consolidation of the elementary and middle schools until this year. Total district enrollment- pre-k through high school (Brigantine is a sending district to Atlantic City HS) as of 2/2019 was 784. 10/2019 estimated total enrollment is 704. Enrollment in the elementary and middle schools as of 2/2019 was 556. Looking back in comparison, in 2009 total enrollment was 1100.
- The number of listed employees is 129. Several teachers were added last year for an expanded pre-k program.
- Operating budget is $21,000,000, listed payroll- no benefits, per diem or hourly costs,10 positions at $100,000 or above, is $9,000,000.
- Employee benefits, excluding pension and social security paid by the state, as a percentage of salaries rose to over 40%.
- Per pupil cost has increased to $26,493., a $6,300 increase in 4 years, among the highest in Atlantic County again.
- Even though enrollment is down, since 2016 the school district tax rate has been reduced less than 1 cent, $.004. to $.487 currently. For 2019-2020, the school district tax rate will be $.4864, a reduction of $.0006!
- The Brigantine Education Association contract ends 6/2020. Concerns/recommendations for the future are: elimination of longevity for new hires, removing it from base salary, compensation more in line with the private sector, no payment for unused sick leave, too many sick days, average student/teacher ratio for elementary and middle schools of 8:1, high percentage of chronic absenteeism.
Excessive costs don’t improve educational quality. A second article will deal with student performance on state achievement tests.Brig School