Taxation and Distribution for Trenton, New Jersey Schools
What are the various sources of tax money received by your district?
According to the Trenton Public Schools’ annual Budget & Salary / Compensation Transparency Reporting, the district receives funding from the following sources:
Total Funding: $34,348,000
Local Funding: $12,570,000
State Funding: $20,149,000
Federal Funding: $1,629,000
The $1.6 million in federal funding is comprised of $259,000 from Title I, and $204,000 from the Child Nutrition Act, among other grants and subsidy programs. The $20.1 million in state funding is comprised largely of a $17.9 million allocation from the state’s general funding formula. Of the $12.5 million in local funding collected by Trenton Public Schools, $10.8 million is derived from property taxes, with nearly $450,000 obtained from the sale of school lunches. The district also received $364,000 from other school districts with surplus funding, $183,000 in private donations from philanthropists and charitable organizations, and $142,000 from district activity receipts.
2.) How are these dollars distributed to each school? What is the allocation strategy used to determine which school receives what?
Despite a historical reputation as one of the most well funded state educational systems in the nation, New Jersey has traditionally supported its school districts through the collection and distribution of property taxes. According to the New Jersey Department of Education, prior to the landmark decision rendered in the case of Robinson v. Cahill in 1973, “New Jersey’s public education system was afflicted by two glaring inequities: (1) public schools relied heavily — indeed, almost exclusively — on local property taxes for funding, with the result that property-rich districts dramatically outspent property-poor districts on a per-pupil basis; and (2) economically advantaged students dramatically out-achieved their less affluent peers” (Cerf, 2012). Today, however, a complex system known as the School Funding Reform Act (SFRA) formula relies on enrollment information and demographic data to calculate the level of funding allocated to each school district in New Jersey during the upcoming fiscal year. The continually adjusted combination of coefficients, costs, and weights that comprise the SFRA formula are intended to identify school districts which are in need of increased funding, as well as those that are fortunate enough to have generated a surplus, and institute a balancing act whereby the level of funding is equalized. While funding formulas like SFRA “were often initiated in response to legal action that claimed inequities existed in funding across school districts, because without such programs wealthier districts had more resources for education than did poorer districts” (Toutkoushian & Michael, 2008), years after its implementation in New Jersey there is evidence that these inequalities cannot be adequately addressed simply through mathematics alone.
3.) Identify and describe whether allocation of resources and student outcomes are in alignment.
While the SFRA allocation is undoubtedly an improvement over the discriminatory funding practices of prior generations, many impartial observers have noted that although SFRA “was proposed to create an equitable formula for calculating reductions in school aid provided to each district … Most of the New Jersey School districts that will be eligible to receive up to the $600 million in state aid available have general property tax rates that range between 2% – 3%” (Crawford, Sabrin, & Tuneva, 2010). As with any government program, the contentious political process can often poison even the most admirably inspired efforts, and although New Jersey legislators have joined Governor Chris Christie in a campaign to increase funding for the state’s ailing school districts, their voting records on other issues betray their true intentions. By engaging in the provincial favoritism no so common in Congress and among state legislatures, New Jersey lawmakers have exploited the current economic crisis to pass property tax hikes in the name of preserving the quality of education delivered to New Jersey students.
Budget cuts forced New Jersey to cut 100% of its state-allocated SFRA funding to 59 school districts across the state, but as many observers have rightfully pointed out, “twenty-seven of the school districts losing all their state funding are located in Bergen County … (and) these districts are viewed as wealthy districts with high per capita income ranging between $70,000 and $300,000” (Crawford, Sabrin, & Tuneva, 2010). These historically affluent districts also have the state’s lowest property tax rates, meaning the effort to provide higher-quality education to low-income students has leveled the proverbial playing field in the most ineffective way imaginable, assuring that the vast majority of New Jersey students will receive an equalized level of substandard education. The results of study conducted to determine the correlation between taxation and targeted allocation of funds to improve student outcomes concluded that “the results suggest that a flypaper effect seems to be present so that property taxes did not fall dollar for dollar when income taxes were raised, and are likely to rise significantly less than dollar for dollar when income taxes are cut” (Goodspeed, 1998). Simply put, the SFRA formula as it is currently employed simply forces the state’s school districts to pass the buck on to their neighbors, by manipulating their tax rates to tilt the funding formula in their favor.
4.) Provide at least three recommendations for district allocation of monies and/or resources to improve achievement of student outcomes.
Under the current SFRA funding allocation scheme, the per-pupil baseline level is typically established at a higher point for districts that are home to more low-income or at-risk students, with the objective being to achieve a state of vertical equity. While this lofty goal is indeed admirable, the SFRA funding formula has proven to be inefficient and ineffective in accomplishing New Jersey’s overriding educational priorities. According to a comprehensive review of school funding formulas and their effect on the efficacy of state educational systems, programs like SFRA “specify the shares of total revenues that are to be paid from state and local sources, with the local share determined by applying a common property-tax rate across communities … (so) in this way, the dollars received by a district for basic education operations are in direct proportion to its size, and wealthier communities no longer have more education resources than poorer communities” (Toutkoushian & Michael, 2008). This concept of taking from the fortunate and redistributing resources to students in need, while premised on the noble notion of equalizing educational opportunities for all students, has regrettably had the opposite effect. Rather than ensure equal access to high-quality educational services, innovative instruction, and the wealth of extracurricular opportunities provided by a thriving school district, New Jersey’s students have been provided with equal access to an overburdened and underfunded schooling system that is more akin to a bureaucracy than an institution of learning.
In order to mitigate the negative effects of the prolonged economic slump, New Jersey lawmakers have devised a series of severe budget cuts intended to reduce waste and inefficiency while retaining the educational system’s fundamental ability to equip children for the next level in life. Among the maneuvers made by New Jersey’s government apparatus, in an attempt to preserve the integrity of its educational delivery, were “a reduction in staff in the New Jersey Department of Education and elimination of certain program (like) the stimulus package of $1.057 billion that the school districts received this year” (Crawford, Sabrin, & Tuneva, 2010). While these actions were necessary in the short-term, they do nothing to address the systemic flaws in New Jersey’s school funding formula, which is why the following recommendations may be useful as the process of reforming and refining SFRA continues.
1.) Adjust the SFRA formula to be based on an individual school district’s average daily attendance, rather than the arbitrary single-count day of October 15th. By making this seemingly minor revision to the SFRA formula, low-income and at-risk school districts, which are historically known to suffer from lower attendance rates, can be encouraged to implement attendance-encouragement policies throughout the duration of the school year, rather than rigging the system by making sure students show up only on a predetermined date.
2.) Consider implementing a tax which targets tourists and visitors to New Jersey, with the funds being directly allocated to school districts in the state. A hotel and lodging tax, or a sporting ticket tax, if relatively minor and unobtrusive, could easily bridge the gap between New Jersey’s stated educational goals, and the funding capacity necessary for their achievement.
3.) Provide attainable goals for students so that the level of educational outcomes is dependent on their drive, ambition, and talent, rather than on the decree of an anonymous lawmaker in Trenton. When the education of an entire generation of students is contingent upon a Congressional body that has become synonymous with futility, we should not be basing the schooling of our children on funding formulas and tax rates.
Cerf, C.D. New Jersey Department of Education, (2012). Education funding report. Retrieved from State of New Jersey website: http://www.nj.gov/education/stateaid/1213/report.pdf
Crawford, C., Sabrin, M., & Tuneva, E. (2010). Property Taxes in New Jersey: Are Homeowners Paying for School Districts at Disproportionate Ratesâ€¦Is There Equity in New Jersey. Northeast Business & Economic Association, Morristown, New Jersey.
Goodspeed, T.J. (1998). The relationship between state income taxes and local property taxes: education finance in New Jersey. National Tax Journal, LI (2), 219-238.
Trenton Public Schools, New Jersey Department of Education, (2012). Budget & salary / compensation transparency reporting. Retrieved from Trenton Public Schools website: http://www.trentonschools.com/index.aspx?folder=382&school=1
Toutkoushian, R.K., & Michael, R.S. (2008). The impacts of school funding formula modifications on equity, fiscal neutrality, and adequacy. Journal of Education Finance, 33(4), 352-380.
Get Professional Assignment Help Cheaply
Are you busy and do not have time to handle your assignment? Are you scared that your paper will not make the grade? Do you have responsibilities that may hinder you from turning in your assignment on time? Are you tired and can barely handle your assignment? Are your grades inconsistent?
Whichever your reason is, it is valid! You can get professional academic help from our service at affordable rates. We have a team of professional academic writers who can handle all your assignments.
Why Choose Our Academic Writing Service?
- Plagiarism free papers
- Timely delivery
- Any deadline
- Skilled, Experienced Native English Writers
- Subject-relevant academic writer
- Adherence to paper instructions
- Ability to tackle bulk assignments
- Reasonable prices
- 24/7 Customer Support
- Get superb grades consistently
Online Academic Help With Different Subjects
Students barely have time to read. We got you! Have your literature essay or book review written without having the hassle of reading the book. You can get your literature paper custom-written for you by our literature specialists.
Do you struggle with finance? No need to torture yourself if finance is not your cup of tea. You can order your finance paper from our academic writing service and get 100% original work from competent finance experts.
While psychology may be an interesting subject, you may lack sufficient time to handle your assignments. Don’t despair; by using our academic writing service, you can be assured of perfect grades. Moreover, your grades will be consistent.
Engineering is quite a demanding subject. Students face a lot of pressure and barely have enough time to do what they love to do. Our academic writing service got you covered! Our engineering specialists follow the paper instructions and ensure timely delivery of the paper.
In the nursing course, you may have difficulties with literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, critical essays, and other assignments. Our nursing assignment writers will offer you professional nursing paper help at low prices.
Truth be told, sociology papers can be quite exhausting. Our academic writing service relieves you of fatigue, pressure, and stress. You can relax and have peace of mind as our academic writers handle your sociology assignment.
We take pride in having some of the best business writers in the industry. Our business writers have a lot of experience in the field. They are reliable, and you can be assured of a high-grade paper. They are able to handle business papers of any subject, length, deadline, and difficulty!
We boast of having some of the most experienced statistics experts in the industry. Our statistics experts have diverse skills, expertise, and knowledge to handle any kind of assignment. They have access to all kinds of software to get your assignment done.
Writing a law essay may prove to be an insurmountable obstacle, especially when you need to know the peculiarities of the legislative framework. Take advantage of our top-notch law specialists and get superb grades and 100% satisfaction.
What discipline/subjects do you deal in?
We have highlighted some of the most popular subjects we handle above. Those are just a tip of the iceberg. We deal in all academic disciplines since our writers are as diverse. They have been drawn from across all disciplines, and orders are assigned to those writers believed to be the best in the field. In a nutshell, there is no task we cannot handle; all you need to do is place your order with us. As long as your instructions are clear, just trust we shall deliver irrespective of the discipline.
Are your writers competent enough to handle my paper?
Our essay writers are graduates with bachelor's, masters, Ph.D., and doctorate degrees in various subjects. The minimum requirement to be an essay writer with our essay writing service is to have a college degree. All our academic writers have a minimum of two years of academic writing. We have a stringent recruitment process to ensure that we get only the most competent essay writers in the industry. We also ensure that the writers are handsomely compensated for their value. The majority of our writers are native English speakers. As such, the fluency of language and grammar is impeccable.
What if I don’t like the paper?
There is a very low likelihood that you won’t like the paper.
- When assigning your order, we match the paper’s discipline with the writer’s field/specialization. Since all our writers are graduates, we match the paper’s subject with the field the writer studied. For instance, if it’s a nursing paper, only a nursing graduate and writer will handle it. Furthermore, all our writers have academic writing experience and top-notch research skills.
- We have a quality assurance that reviews the paper before it gets to you. As such, we ensure that you get a paper that meets the required standard and will most definitely make the grade.
In the event that you don’t like your paper:
- The writer will revise the paper up to your pleasing. You have unlimited revisions. You simply need to highlight what specifically you don’t like about the paper, and the writer will make the amendments. The paper will be revised until you are satisfied. Revisions are free of charge
- We will have a different writer write the paper from scratch.
- Last resort, if the above does not work, we will refund your money.
Will the professor find out I didn’t write the paper myself?
Not at all. All papers are written from scratch. There is no way your tutor or instructor will realize that you did not write the paper yourself. In fact, we recommend using our assignment help services for consistent results.
What if the paper is plagiarized?
We check all papers for plagiarism before we submit them. We use powerful plagiarism checking software such as SafeAssign, LopesWrite, and Turnitin. We also upload the plagiarism report so that you can review it. We understand that plagiarism is academic suicide. We would not take the risk of submitting plagiarized work and jeopardize your academic journey. Furthermore, we do not sell or use prewritten papers, and each paper is written from scratch.
When will I get my paper?
You determine when you get the paper by setting the deadline when placing the order. All papers are delivered within the deadline. We are well aware that we operate in a time-sensitive industry. As such, we have laid out strategies to ensure that the client receives the paper on time and they never miss the deadline. We understand that papers that are submitted late have some points deducted. We do not want you to miss any points due to late submission. We work on beating deadlines by huge margins in order to ensure that you have ample time to review the paper before you submit it.
Will anyone find out that I used your services?
We have a privacy and confidentiality policy that guides our work. We NEVER share any customer information with third parties. Noone will ever know that you used our assignment help services. It’s only between you and us. We are bound by our policies to protect the customer’s identity and information. All your information, such as your names, phone number, email, order information, and so on, are protected. We have robust security systems that ensure that your data is protected. Hacking our systems is close to impossible, and it has never happened.
How our Assignment Help Service Works
1. Place an order
You fill all the paper instructions in the order form. Make sure you include all the helpful materials so that our academic writers can deliver the perfect paper. It will also help to eliminate unnecessary revisions.
2. Pay for the order
Proceed to pay for the paper so that it can be assigned to one of our expert academic writers. The paper subject is matched with the writer’s area of specialization.
3. Track the progress
You communicate with the writer and know about the progress of the paper. The client can ask the writer for drafts of the paper. The client can upload extra material and include additional instructions from the lecturer. Receive a paper.
4. Download the paper
The paper is sent to your email and uploaded to your personal account. You also get a plagiarism report attached to your paper.
PLACE THIS ORDER OR A SIMILAR ORDER WITH US TODAY AND GET A PERFECT SCORE!!!