On Sunday TapintoNewark ran a piece that describes how over the last ten years “the state agency responsible for building schools in 31 former Abbott districts has spent more than $263 million to build five schools in Newark at a cost that far exceeded the limits set by the Legislature.” This agency is, of course, the scandal-ridden Schools Development Authority which is responsible for building and renovating school buildings in New Jersey’s Abbott districts. In contrast to a recent North Jersey hit-job (which I unraveled here) this most recent coverage accurately unpacks the SDA’s wanton profligacy — your tax dollars at work: For example, “the SDA spent more than a quarter of a billion dollars to build schools for only 3,733 Newark children — an average of more than $70,000 per student.”
In response to these revelations former Camden Superintendent Paymon Rouhanifard tweeted out his thoughts about this “must-read for policy makers & anyone concerned about public education,” including how New Jersey charter schools build schools at far less expense (with a well-deserved dig at the North Jersey piece I cited above). Former Newark Superintendent Cami Anderson added her thoughts too. Both take aim at NJ’s failure to fairly fund facilities for charter schools. Here’s the full thread for your edification.