Consolidating school districts new jersey
is responsible for the original research and data analysis that support New Jersey Future’s policy development.
The debate over consolidating public schools in New Jersey is almost as old as the public schools themselves, with skirmishes over the issue dating back to the 1890s.
It includes 15 elementary schools, five middle schools and three high schools—all operated by a single district with a single superintendent and administrative hierarchy.
Hunterdon County’s population of 128,349 is roughly similar to that of the Central Bucks School District.
When nine municipalities share a school district, as in Central Bucks, all taxable properties within these municipalities pay into the same pot of school money.
It no longer makes as much difference which particular municipality secures the new mall; competition becomes less acute as the size of the units of competition increases.
But Hunterdon County’s 26 municipalities send their kids to a total of 30 different school districts—25 elementary-only districts, four regional high school districts and Phillipsburg High School (in Warren County), where Bloomsbury sends its high school students.
Increasing the number of municipalities served by a school district would go a long way toward reducing inter-municipal competition for taxable commercial property (the “ratables chase”).
New Jersey’s fragmented universe of school districts leads to a host of undesirable or counterproductive land-use decisions.
With so many single-municipality school districts, many municipalities are on their own to raise school revenues solely from the properties located within their borders.
But the implications for reducing administrative expense are obvious.
But the benefits of more regionalized school districts don’t end at cutting bureaucracy and reducing administrative costs.