How to use this visualization:
This "tree map" shows the 2018/19 appropriations (i.e. expenses) for Jersey City Public Schools. I downloaded the data from the NJ Department of Education website, created a subset of "Appropriations" showing total spending, and then removed subtotals and totals so that only detailed lined items are visualized.
Purpose of this visualization:
Jersey City will lose $27 million in state adjustment aid this budget cycle. A key question to consider is: what exactly will be cut? Where does the funding *currently* reside? What are the largest "buckets" of expense categories? This visualization, showing 2018/19 advertised expense, shows the major buckets of spending.
A few notes:
- The full 2018/19 user friendly budget is available at this link and reflects about $660 million of proposed spending for 2018/19. This is inclusive of K-12 spending, PreK, and funds that "pass through" the JCPS budget to charter schools.
- Major expense categories are grouped and color-coded as noted by the legend on the top right of the visualization.
- You can drill into the details of this data by using the Filter on the right side of the view. The filter is by expense category; for instance: if you UN-check the "School Based Budget" (which accounted for nearly $294 million in spending last year) the visualization will remove that category, and more categories will appear, allowing you to see smaller buckets of spending.
- Because it's the largest line item, it's worth noting that the "School Based Budget" is a lump-sum line item of spending that connotes spending allocated to each of Jersey City's schools. More to come on this in future visualizations...I'd like to create a data visualization for each of the district's 39 schools using the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, a mandated report published each year by the district.
- Feel free to play around with this and learn what is funded in our schools. You cannot break this -- if you find yourself in a view you don't know how to get out of, simply refresh the webpage. Everyone can and should learn how our collective pool of tax dollars is spent!
Resources and Links:
2019/20 *Proposed* Budget (visualization coming soon!) available on Public Board Docs for March 20th, 2019 Meeting
Public Calendar for 2019/20 Budget available on Public Board Docs for March 20th, 2019 Meeting
NJ Department of Education - User Friendly Budget Landing Page
Jersey City User Friendly Budget for 2018/19 (from NJ Department of Education website)