He makes adjustments for cost of living in his data; I'm not qualified to say whether his methodology is sound, but, as a layman, it seems to make sense.
Boiling down some of his observations:
New Jersey may be lower because they weren’t, and aren’t, putting any money in to the teacher pension funds, meaning either that state’s economy will be destroyed by soaring taxes or its school system destroyed by money diverted out of the classroom to the retired even sooner than in New York. Unless the pensions aren’t paid, due to something like bankruptcy.
Some quick reactions of my own:
- What's up with all the non-instructional spending in NJ? Maybe the consolidators have a point.
- We NJ teachers have known for some time that we are not spending more per pupil in the classroom than NY. But look at MA; you gonna tell me the cap doesn't have something to do low instructional spending or low salaries?
- The NJ benefits number is nuts. Less than half of the money spent right across the border in NY?
Bruce Baker has his take on the data which I still have to digest. We teachers owe it to ourselves to figure out what these numbers mean.