School districts will have to make their legal expenses a little more publicly transparent under new guidelines for how districts file their school budgets.

Included in the new budget software is a line item to track per-pupil costs for legal expenses. A state Department of Education spokesman said the information will likely be added to the Comparative Spending Guide released each spring before the school election, which shows how districts spend their money.

This data is too late for this year's guide, but could be included next year.

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This is noteworthy because a Press of Atlantic City review last year found that the Atlantic City School District had budgeted more for outside legal costs than any other school district in the state, more than $1 million.

The state DOE won't stop Atlantic City or any district from continuing to spend whatever they want (home rule rules). But there is always the hope that the public, if given the information, might object, or that the school board might try to rein in costs. 








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