CivicParent is rooted in sharing public data, insights, and analysis with the public.
I am a licensed CPA with a background in public accounting, tax and technology client service, and business analytics. I currently teach at the Frank J. Guarini School of Business at Saint Peter's University. I believe civics - and community - can be strengthened when the public can more easily access and understand public data; including budgets, school aid, school enrollment, property tax data, and more.
CivicParent is a 100% volunteer effort. I welcome comments and questions via email at Brigid@CivicParent.org. You can learn more about Civic Parent's roots here.
Learn about local public finance in the Garden State
LATEST INSIGHTS AND ANALYSIS
MOST RECENT POSTS
2021 JERSEY CITY BUDGET
During Summer 2021 I'll be writing about the proposed city budget - $620M in total - which was introduced in June and is likely to be passed sometime in July.
Taxpayers have an interest in ensuring tax dollars are being spent in a manner we both understand and can support. We cannot engage this process if we cannot understand the budget itself. So this series is an attempt to break open and understand the budget, in community. Read more...
JERSEY CITY SCHOOL FUNDING UPDATE
In one chart: Jersey City’s seismic change in tax levies fully funds the schools and reallocates property tax
In 2021, Jersey City is poised to both fully fund its schools and also enter a new paradigm with respect to property tax. Let's review what's happening based on four key insights; we'll use the graph below as a pictorial guide through the fiscal nuance. The chart below shows year-on-year change to Jersey City's state education aid (the gray line), the school levy (the dark red line) and the city levy (the blue line). Read more...
SCHOOL COST METRICS
NJ’s “Cost Per Pupil” is a flawed comparison of school district cost.
On its face, the NJ Department of Education's "cost-per-pupil" is an inviting metric upon which to compare and contrast school spending among New Jersey's 600+ districts. However, cost-per-pupil is misleading as it distorts the intentional, extra investment for students with more needs, including at-risk students and students with limited English proficiency. Specifically, the intentionally extra investment - mandated by the state's school funding law - can be misinterpreted as "overspending." The Education Law Center highlighted this issue back in 2010, quoting Melvin Wyns, former head of the Division of Finance for the NJ Department of Education, who called cost-per-pupil "highly inappropriate and misleading."
Let's dig into the nuance, because it matters for equity. To help anchor and contextualize the discussion, I will compare Jersey City (in Hudson County) to Summit (in Union County). Read more...
NEW JERSEY: BY THE NUMBERS
While we are one Garden State, we are fragmented by county, town, and school district. This has implications with property tax, including school & city taxes.
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