That’s how much spending auditors said was “unnecessary, excessive or lacking documentation” by Abbott school districts.
From our friends at inthelobby.net
Actually, that’s more than 25 cents out of every tax dollar.
But these are not normal circumstances.
These are circumstances where as soon as the governor gets done with the state budget, he’s going to unveil “Son of Toll Hike” and try to ram it through the Legislature.
So reading in the Star Ledger that auditors uncovered $83 million in questionable expenditures in the Abbott school districts was nothing to laugh about.
- The Orange Board of Education spent $3,100 in tax dollars for a Christmas party for teachers and support staff;
- Irvington spent $6,421 for a school board retreat in Atlantic City; while another 250 purchase orders in Irvington totaling more than $15.5 million were not supported with invoices;
- In East Orange, the district spent $10,836 for a superintendent’s convocation; $23,834 for 14 Dell laptop computers for board members, and $753 to cover the cost of 34 cakes — with no explanation as to why the cakes were purchased; and
- Gloucester City spent $6,000 for meals for teachers and administrators.
But taken together, what they add up to is the New Jersey taxpayer’s lament. They add up to the fact that our state suffers from a careless disregard of tax dollars. New Jersey’s government, on all levels, has either forgotten who is paying the bills – or, worse yet, they simply don’t care.
And one of the reasons they can’t is because the residents of New Jersey are paying too much in taxes.
Instead, we hear how the Pleasantville School District is under investigation by the federal government. The Asbury Park School District is under investigation by the state.
We are not naïve. We know that we have to repair the roads and bridges. We know that we have to pay down the debt, and pay for schools and hospitals and those who need our help. But we are also not fools. Until they try to recoup what has been wasted, until they show more concern for the taxpayers who pay the bills than their political pals or the special interests they cater to, it makes no sense to give Trenton more of our money, because they don’t respect or honor what they already have.