I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Fun With Math

According to the NJEA (don't bother looking, it's behind a firewall):
The average teacher salary in 2008-09 is $64,555 for 129,185 positions.
About $8.3 billion in total. That was a 3.01% increase over the previous year.

Assume another 3% raise the next year: that's $250 million more in salary. Now imagine teacher wages get frozen.

Assume that frozen money would have been taxed at 5.5% in state income tax. That's a little low, because income over $75K is taxed at 6.4%, but whatever: we'll round that up to make up for it to about $14 million.

Now, Gov CC wants to refund the money that would have been spent by the state on FICA to the districts. At 7.65%, that's about $19 million. But he has to take out $14 million, because "the offer won't cost the state any more money."

That means that Christie has a total of $5 million to spread around to "reward" districts for freezing salaries.

Add another $10K to the average salary for benefits. He will save 250 average jobs. 0.2% of total teaching positions. Heckuva job, Chrissy.

By the way, in the Star-Ledger, they posited a district with savings of $1 million from a freeze. If that's 3% of the total of teacher salaries budgeted, the district has about 515 employees (assuming the state average wage - a big assumption, for sure, but OK for our purposes). The $75K is balanced by the loss of income tax at $55K for a $20K "reward." About a .25 FTE position. 1/2060th of the district's workforce.

Is he joking with us? Is that it?

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