while I believe that this decision is not in the best interest of the education system and conflicts of interest come with a heavy cost, however, Jersey City teachers are NOT among the highest paid in the state. They make more than 88%, not 98% of districts. Median salary is $75,760, ranked 80th in districts in NJ, 3rd in Hudson behind, Hoboken and Harrison.
Ah, I misremembered, it's actually >93% of, as I said, equivalent districts. But since when is more than even 88% "NOT among the highest paid in the state."???
Per Pupil Ranking Within Group (2017-18 budget): 91|98
it bears repeating that JC residents have shown incredible apathy to these issues because they are shielded from the spiraling school costs as a result of our budget being mostly shouldered by the state. If for every $1 increase we only pay 16 cents, people just don't have enough of an incentive (or don't feel enough pain) to complain and demand accountability.
This actually bears a striking resemblance to how insured Americans have been indifferent to skyrocketing healthcare costs. I still don't fathom how the state returned control when we're so obviously spending out of control, and how they didn't rein it in over the >25 years they had control.
You are SO right in drawing that analogy with healthcare: for those of us who are covered by an employer plan, healthcare costs have always been an abstract subject. About five years ago, my company switched from paying 95% of the monthly cost of employee's health insurance to 80%, which of course spurred a lot of people to examine what was being paid for and what was offered or included. And, since that first change, a small (but, very vocal) group insists on negotiating of new rates, even if it entails switching plans. If the company ever switches to paying just 50%, I am SURE that most people would be VERY invested in how the plans are negotiated and what is covered or offered.
The irony is that if you ask most people on the street, they would tell you that our taxes are too high. When the reval was completed, a sizable portion of DTJC was up in arms about the new taxes, and there was no reasoning with those people. They insist they are being unfairly singled out. When it is pointed out to them that school taxes are too low and will inevitably go up in the next few years, people absolutely, positively lose their $hit and go on tirades about the unfairness of it all, this despite being told that we are only paying 16% of our budget, while other NJ residents are paying the rest. Tripling the local school tax is about the fairest thing that could happen, but people would be up in arms. The thing is... sooner or later, it will have to happen.