How many Rutgers millionaires should you be paying for?
All this with the backdrop of millions of taxpayer dollars spent on some of the highest paid state employees in our state. Professors accused of racism and anti-Semitism and then there's the violence and abuse in the locker room.
Not only are we paying for this culture with our tax dollars, but it's far from inexpensive for NJ students to attend. The cost is more than $32,000 a year for in-state kids to get their education if they live on campus. Even commuter students who stay at home will incur costs of around $20,000. The total annual budget for Rutgers? A whopping $4.3 billion.
The estimate is that about 22% of the revenue used in the Rutgers budget is from you, the New Jersey taxpayer. That comes out to about a billion dollars a year. A billion dollars! Let that sink in.
What return on investment are we getting on Rutgers? Many of us have to dig deep and borrow a lot of money to put our kids through school. Many of us are being crushed every year by the rising cost of living and out-of-control property taxes. Hard to stomach a mediocre university president making more than $800,000 a year. And check out this list of top executives at the school.
How many Rutgers millionaires should you be paying for? Not to mention the football coach, Chris Ash, taking in more than $2 million a year. But hey, at least they DOUBLED the number of wins from 2016 to 2017. Going 2-10 in Ash's first year then 4-8 last year. Are you kidding me?
If the school is so good, let them survive on the $3 billion they get without you and I kicking in. Maybe if they were spending only tuition and endowment money, they'd have rethought the whole Big Ten move. Maybe not, but they it would be on them and not us.
I say it's time to veto Rutgers. And yes, the Governor has the power to line-item veto the budget allocation. You know where I'd put the money? Tax relief for law enforcement, first responders and maybe teachers who have been burned buy Trenton politicians for years. Then I'd invest a few hundred million in trade and vocational schools. Let's help kids make a smart choice. College is good for some, but not all. Those kids that will get nothing, but debt from their college experience should be incentivized to consider a trade.
What if we invested money in attracting young people from other states to come to school in NJ in exchange for staying here and living and working? Maybe a few bucks to help fix our roads and get proper braking systems install on NJ transit, and hire a least a couple more engineers. This is all possible if we had the right leadership in the Governor's office.
We have enough money wasted on Rutgers that could be re-allocated in next year's budget to make it happen. How 'bout it? #WhoSpeaksForNewJersey?
Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015. Tweet him @NJ1015 or @BillSpadea. The opinions expressed here are solely those of Bill Spadea.
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