Hoboken School District Still Spends Most in County
Less than last year, but still several thousand dollars more than the state average.
Although the cost per pupil in the Hoboken School District was roughly $3,000 less in the 2009/2010 school year, the district still spends more per student than any other municipality in the county.
According to the state report card that came out earlier this week, the Hoboken school district spends a total of $18,726 per pupil. The state's average total cost per pupil is $15,538.
Hoboken's comparative cost, compared to other districts, is $21,8589. School board member Maureen Sullivan, a critic of the Kids First board majority, called that number "pretty shocking."
"We've come down, but it continues to be so high," Sullivan said.
The board will also look at a recent transportation audit in trying to cut those costs.
Although some of the districts in the county are much smaller than Hoboken—such as Guttenberg, East Newark and Weehawken—Hoboken still spends more than the larger districts in the county, such as Jersey City and Union City.
One of the reasons why the cost is relatively high in Hoboken, is because salaries in the district are high, said School Board President Rose Markle.
"Most of the budget is salary driven," Markle said. "We're working on it."
Markle said that although more cuts must be made, a $3,000 reduction in per pupil cost since last year is significant. Markle said that the board will be looking at the recently completed transportation audit to see how costs can be cut in that department.
Sullivan, known as fiscally conservative, said that Hoboken has too many custodians. "We need to look at contracting out custodian services," Sullivan said.
Sullivan also expressed worries over the amount of state aid Hoboken will receive this year. Last year, the district lost $2.3 million in state aid.
"We need action now if we want to cut cost," Sullivan said.
Total Per Pupil Cost per Hudson County district in 2009-2010:
|West New York||$16,315|
Editor's Note: The numbers in this story are the absolute total numbers of cost per pupil in Hoboken, while Maureen Sullivan had the comparative numbers in mind when being interviewed for this story.