"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance

 and a people who mean to be their own governors

 must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

When It Costs More For Pre-School Than College

The Star-Ledger has article today about tuition at New Jersey’s community colleges. A similar article appears about this time every year, typically covering various reasons for tuition hikes. Every year we are struck by how relatively inexpensive it is to educate college freshmen and sophomores in our junior colleges. This year the average full-time tuition for New Jersey’s county colleges will be $2,459, about $120 more than last year.

When the Garden State's county college system was founded in the 1960s, the schools were designed so students, the state and the individual counties would each pay a third of the cost of running the schools.

This year, the state and the counties will each pay 25 percent of running the county colleges, while student tuition will cover the remaining 50 percent.
This means the average total cost per county college student is less than $5,000 per year. Now compare that with an average cost of more than $12,000 to educate 3 to 4-year olds in Newark preschools, the more than $18,893 per student in an Asbury Park K-12 public school or even the state’s average per student cost of $11,056.

Why is it necessary to spend two to four times more per public school pupil as it does for freshmen and sophomore college students? Even taking into consideration county college students must purchase their own textbooks and supply their own transportation to school, it still seems absurd.

New Jersey spends 57 percent more per public student than the national average and that’s a big factor in New Jersey property tax crisis. If our state’s lawmakers are serious about property tax relief they’d better start looking at ways to reduce public school costs. Our county colleges are proof we are spending far more than necessary to educate our children.



4 Comments:

At 4:24 PM, Blogger showhank said...

Not to defend them, but you have to provide a safe classroom environment for almost 11 hours a day with at least 2 teachers present plus a director/administrator, heat it, cool it, insure it, I would think this would make up the difference. If we really wanted to know we could interview each and ask about costs. The info might even be public.

 
At 6:24 AM, Anonymous Mr. Bingley said...

As he says, I would imagine that a lot of the costs are tied in with liability issues with smaller kids that simply don't exist for college students.

 
At 11:57 AM, Blogger Ken Adams said...

So why do we need two teachers per classroom?

 
At 7:33 AM, Anonymous Mr. Bingley said...

For various sexual-predator laws, ken. Small children can not be in a room with a single adult. the same laws affect daycare/sunday school classes at churches, etc.

it's a large cost.

 

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