2012-13 School District Budget Summaries/Salaries & Benefits
“User-friendly” Plain Language Budget Summaries and Salaries and Benefits of Select School District Employees
In order to provide increased public accountability and transparency, NJSA 18A:22-8 requires officials in each school district to place a “user-friendly” summary of their proposed budget on the district’s website (if one exists) following the public hearing on the budget and prior to the school election in April. After the election (and following municipal review if the budget is defeated), a final user-friendly summary of the final budget must be posted on both the district’s website (pursuant to NJSA 18A:22-8a) and the Department of Education’s website.
DOE worked with the New Jersey Association of School Business Officials to create the format for the budget summary. It includes: all appropriation line items aggregated by item type; the school tax rate; the equalized school tax rate; revenues by major category; the amount of available surplus; a description of unusual revenues or appropriations with a description of the circumstances of the revenues and appropriations; and a list of shared services agreements in which the district is participating.
NJSA 18A:7F-5.3 requires that the “user friendly” budgets contain detailed information on the salaries and benefits of each district superintendent, assistant superintendent, school business administrator and school district employees whose annual base salaries exceed $75,000 and who are not members of collective bargaining units must be submitted to DOE by the districts as part of the budget process. These postings must stay on-line for a year, until they are replaced by the following year’s budget summary. The information provided as part of the user-friendly budget summaries is for contracts in effect as of January 1, 2012. The amount columns are reported on an annualized basis and represent the maximum amount that the employee could be paid in the given year.
It is important to note that some of the benefits listed on this website – such as stipends, the buyback of accrued sick time and separation payments – have either been capped or are no longer permitted to be included in new administrator contracts, which must be reviewed and approved by the Executive County Superintendent in each county.
Finally, all users of this information should note that the salary data contained in the user-friendly budget summaries are self- reported by the districts. DOE has not approved this information, nor is the department responsible for its accuracy. Districts may have chosen to report salary and benefit data for all employees earning over $75,000, even if those employees were in collective bargaining units. Each district varies as to which classes of employees are part of collective bargaining units and some reported more employees than required by law. Users of this salary and benefit information should be cautious when comparing districts because of the various district options taken in presenting this data.
The final accountability regulations are posted on the Department's website at: http://www.state.nj.us/education/code/current/title6a/chap23a.pdf.
Archive of Previous Year User-Friendly Budget Summaries