Chatham Schools Get Cheaper Still

Data from the 2009-2010 academic year was released this week.

The New Jersey Department of Education released its 2009-10 school report cards this week.

The School District of the Chathams continued its trend of falling increasingly below the average per pupil cost in the state. In the 2008-09 school year, Chatham spent $1,902 less per pupil than the state average. In the 2009-10 school year that number increased to a difference of $2,144 between what Chatham spends per student and what the state pays as an average to educate its students.

The district increased its percentage of revenue derived from local sources from 90 percent to 92 percent, compared to the state average of 51 percent.

The district's student-to-teacher ratio was above the state average at 12.9 compared to the state average of 10.1.

Chatham High School students have a greater accessibility to computers than their peers throughout New Jersey, as the report card showed a ratio of students to computers of 2.2 compared to a statewide average of 3.1.

The school also enjoyed a 98.7 percent graduation rate, compared to 90 percent throughout the state, and enjoyed an average Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) score of 1770 compared to a statewide average of 1516.

School Superintendent Jim O’Neill said Monday night that he had not yet seen the report card. He understood that the per-pupil cost had gone down, and said that “the additional kids we got actually reduced the cost” of educating students in the Chathams.

“It’s an excellent district, it’s a model of how to spend dollars well,” O’Neill said.

A chart with more complete information from the district and information regarding Chatham High School may be found below.

Per Pupil Expenditures 2009-2010  District 2009-2010 State Average 2008-2009 District 2008-2009 State Average Total Cost Per Pupil $13,394 $15,538 $13,319 $15,221 Revenues 2009-2010 District 2009-2010 State Average 2008-2009 District 2008-2009 State Average Local 92% 51% 90% 50% State 6% 40% 6% 40% Federal 1% 3% 1% 3% Other 1% 6% 3% 7% Administrative and Faculty Personnel 2009-2010 District 2009-2010 State Average 2008-2009 District 2008-2009 State Average # of Administrators 25.2 28.3 25.6 28.5 # of Schools 6 7.6 6 7.6 # of Students per Administrator 154.8 161.0 145.3 159.2 # of Faculty per Administrator 12.1 15.4 12.2 15.2 Chatham High School Student/Faculty Ratio Chatham High School State Average 2009-2010 12.9 10.8 2008-2009 N/A 11.1 Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) Results Number Average Mathmatics Score Average Verbal Score Average Essay Score 2009-2010 Chatham High School 224 598 577 595 2009-2010 State 65,337 520 497 499 2008-2009 Chatham High School 196 598 580 585 2008-2009 State 63,618 515 494 494
Duncan Munchkin February 14, 2011 at 03:52 PM
I find that Jim O'Neill and the SDOC are a lot like Wall Street. They only tell you what they want you to know. I think the Patch should republish this article and include the data table that shows Administrators Salaries and Benefits. In O'Neill's district, where there are FEWER students per administrator than the state average, the administrator salaries and benfits are HIGHER than the state average by 3%. More importantly, these administrative costs (salaries and benefits only) have been increasing at a rate 2 to 3 times that of the state average. Since most of you wouldn't send your kid to a school that is just the state average, why do we use that as a comparison? Compare these figures to another nearby school where the students perform well...say Millburn. The administrators salaries and benefits and increases year over year are almost directly in line with the state average. And that district has 20 more students per administrator than SDOC. My kids go to school here in Chatham and I don't find the low per pupil cost anything to brag about like Jim O does. The homework and classwork materials often look like garbage, the library books are often pathetically outdated or shredded, and the overall appearances of the schools often leaves me shaking my head. The per pupil cost keeps coming down, but the fraction that goes to Jim O and his administration stays the same or increases. Oh, and do I need to remind you he is asking for a(nother) raise?


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