Jersey City’s 2017 School Based Budgets: Learn what’s being funded in your school

How to use this visualization:

This bubble chart shows 2017 actual spending within Jersey City's public schools, as reported by the 2017 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report ("CAFR"); 2017 is the most recent year available for this report. The CAFR is an annual report detailing both qualitative and quantitative information about the district. It is prepared by the district, approved by the Board of Education, and audited by a private accounting firm.

Purpose of this visualization:

In my first visualization (which you can view here), I showed JCPS' largest "buckets" of expense categories on a district-wide basis as reflected in the User Friendly Budget.  The User Friendly Budget showed that the "School Based Budget" was the biggest area of expense. This visualization (Visualization #2) aims to dig into the School Based Budget and show, on a per-school basis, where the major areas of expense are.

Key data I pulled from the CAFR: the "School Based Budget" actual spending data, reflected in pages 175 through 249 of the report. The data shows, for each school, resources that drive spending in our schools, including regular programs instruction, special education, and employee benefits.

A few notes:

  1. The full 2018/19 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report is located at this link. It is a mandated report published each year by the district and subject to an audit by an outside CPA firm.
  2. This visualization is broken up into three components: (a) on the right side of the screen is a filter that allows you to select a single school or the entire district; (b) on the left side of the screen are bubbles that show visual size of spending - the bigger the bubble, the larger the spending category for that school; and (c) at the bottom is the tabulated data giving detailed expense descriptions for each spending category.
  3. By selecting "All" from the filter, you will see district-wide spending. By selecting a single school, you will be able to drill into that specific school's spending.
  4. My hope is this helps parents start to crack into key questions like:
    1. how much funding does my school receive?
    2. What is the money being spent on?
    3. And, a key question: what's my school's funding going to look like for the 2019/20 school year -- higher...or lower? And, if lower, then what exactly is going to be cut?

Resources and Links:

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