User-Friendly Plain Language Budget Summaries and Salaries and Benefits of Select School District Employees
In order to provide increased public accountability and transparency, N.J.S.A. 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). N.J.A.C. 6A:23A-8.1(c) requires the user-friendly budget summary to be posted on the district’s website within 48 hours after the public hearing on the budget. 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 N.J.S.A. 18A:22-8a) and the Department of Education's website.
The NJDOE 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.
N.J.S.A. 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 employee whose annual base salaries exceeds $75,000, and who is not a member of a collective bargaining unit. 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, 2021. 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. The NJDOE has not approved this information, nor is the Department responsible for its accuracy.
Archive of Previous Year User-Friendly Budget Summaries