This is our letter-to-the-editor which was printed on June 8, 2017 in The Press of Atlantic City regarding its editorial on overpaid teachers.
“Two sentences in the editorial should open taxpayers’ eyes. ‘Of the 10 NJ school districts that pay teachers the most, four are in South Jersey’, and ‘Pay in several other area districts is right behind them’ (Press editorial – 5/12). This is not what one would expect since most of NJ’s wealth is north of us.
Such extravagant compensation, in salaries, longevity increases (simply for being in the job) and benefits, is not justified by any objective reputable measure found in the private sector.
Public schools are an essential part of our country’s foundation and have a vital job to do.
But, politics and unions have combined to drive up their teachers’ compensation beyond reason and taxpayers’ willingness and ability to pay.
Brigantine is mentioned as having the 5th highest median teacher salary ($89,900) in the State.
You also say there’s no automatic correlation between high expenses and academic achievement. ‘Schools in North Jersey routinely outperform schools in South Jersey.’ As an example…
Brigantine students in general have done poorly on State achievement tests.
Believing that taxpayers need facts to evaluate their government including public schools fairly, the Brigantine Taxpayers Association prints annually the salaries of the school district’s employees and other school- budget data.”
We now add the following information.
1. There are 584 operating public school districts in NJ.
2. The current contract between the Brigantine Education Association and the Brigantine Board of Education expires on June 30, 2017. Will the public be kept in the dark about major issues being negotiated for the next contract?
3. Brigantine is one of the area’s highest spending- per- student (doesn’t include pension and benefit costs paid by the State) districts at $21,388.
4. Brigantine’s administrative cost per student is the highest in Atlantic County (2016-17).
5. We continue to advocate for the consolidation of the two separate schools within the same facility in Brigantine. Enrollment in these two schools (grades k-4 and 5-8) continues to decline.
Sincerely, Brigantine Taxpayers Association, Anne H. Phillips – President