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The Most Expensive School Districts; Your Right to Know; Workers' Sick Leave Payouts; Buy/Sell Now

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LOVE YOUR MONEY: New Jersey 101.5 radio station released an article on April 23 naming the most and least expensive school districts in New Jersey.  Topping out Camden County with the most expensive cost per pupil was the 6a00d8341bf7d953ef0192abded29b970d-800wischool district of Camden City coming in at $29,455 per pupil followed by the Gloucester City school district at a cost of $25,148 per pupil. The numbers were released as part of the annual Taxpayers’ Guide to Education Spending.

“The annual spending guide is a tool designed to provide transparency to New Jerseyans about how schools spend their taxpayer dollars to educate students,” Acting Education Commissioner Kimberley Harrington said.

The data compares district’s costs on teacher salaries, administrator pay and supplies.

The districts with the largest budgets include the 31 School Development Authority districts, more commonly known as “Abbott districts,” which are in economically disadvantaged communities and benefit from decades of court orders mandating state subsidies. Half of all state education aid goes to these districts.

But when the money is divided by the districts’ large student enrollments, their per-pupil amounts are matched or surpassed by many of the state’s smaller and less disadvantaged districts. source

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Screen Shot 2017-04-14 at 12.6.34WE WILL KEEP ASKING--In an effort to learn the name of the person holding the position of recycling aide in Gloucester City we submitted an Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request to Kathy Jentsch, the city’s custodian of records. The position was mentioned in the August 18, 2016, council executive session meeting minutes. We also wanted to know what Patrick Kain did for the city. He was mentioned by city Administrator Lipsett in the November 7, 2016, executive session minutes. Specifically, those minutes read, “Patrick Kain salary. He was hired for $15,000 per year and will continue to receive that and must join the union."

Read: Behind Closed Doors (Part 1)

Behind Closed Doors (Part 2)

To obtain that information our April 18 OPRA requested the names of all people hired by the city between January 2016 and March 2017. In return, we received a list containing the names and titles of 36 people. Most of the people hired were part-time.

Hired full-time were three police officers; George A. Spingler (salary $54,929), Cassy L. Pollander, (salary $62,436) Gregory E. Coxe (salary 54,929).

Also, tax collector James V. Davis (salary $69,000); water department head Eric G. Fooder (salary $85,000); sewer department Thomas P. Gorman (salary $33,436).

The name of the recycling aide was not included. Nor was the name of Patrick Kain.

A follow-up email to Jentsch asked about the missing information to which Jentsch replied, “You are not requesting documents so, therefore.......No documents exist.”

Related: Salaries of Local Public Employees

Related: The Secretive Gloucester City Council

Related: The Secretive Gloucester City Mayor & Council (Nov. 5, 2006)

ACCUMULATED SICK PAY PAYOUTS—NJ Spotlight released a report a few weeks ago about the amount of money owned by some communities to employees for unused absences.  Pay was capped at $15,000 in 2010, but public employees hired before that at school districts, towns, and counties across the state can still rack up six-figure payouts.

Public workers in a majority of New Jersey’s municipalities, school districts, and all but two of its counties are due almost $1.9 billion in pay for unused absences when they retire, with at least one employee slated to receive as much as $500,000.

To put things in perspective: If this obligation were spread throughout the state, every New Jerseyan would have to chip in $207 to cover the public-employee version of Wall Street’s golden parachute — according to an NJ Spotlight analysis of local budgets.

Or think of it this way: In this state with the highest property taxes in the nation, the $929 million owed to municipal workers alone, if it were paid out immediately by property-tax payers, would lead to an increase of 11 percent over last year’s total local levy.

Below are some examples of cities and towns obligations for employees sick pay

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For the full article go here

RELATED: NJ Democrats Dilly-Dally


PRIME REAL ESTATE FOR SALE: Trulia Realty has 270 homes in Gloucester City listed on their website. Many of them are identified as bank owned, auction, or in foreclosure. (see here)

In nearby Bellmawr, there are 189 properties listed for sale. The list includes some bank owned, and some in foreclosure. (see here)

Mount Ephraim has 88 properties listed some of which are in foreclosure. (see here)