Thursday, June 21, 2012
NJ Spotlight's interactive map looks at per-pupil spending.
How much does it cost to educate a student in South Orange-Maplewood public schools? $17,895, according to the N.J. School Report Card 2010-11. NJ Spotlight’s latest interactive map looks at per-pupil spending in school districts across the state. The map ranks K-12 or K-8 districts by total overall spending. By clicking on a municipality, the data for its primary school district is available. The data include the percentage of a district’s revenues that came from local taxes and state aid last year, and the amount spent per pupil in several key areas -- classroom instruction, support services, administration, operations and extracurricular activities – as well as the comparative budget total, which excludes such items as transportation …
Friday, April 27, 2012
In Essex County, we mailed in an average $2,382 to the NJ government.
Last Tuesday was tax day, one of the most universally hated days of the year by citizens. But the New Jersey government loves it. Or, at least, needs it. NJ Spotlight’s latest interact map looks at the tax stats -- the number of returns, total income and the change from 2008, taxable income, the total tax liability and average incomes and tax bills per return and per capita. Read the story here and use the map to learn more. Here are the Essex numbers: Essex County Returns: 325,672 Total Income: $24,772,530,600 Change from 2008: $(675,823,200) Percent change: -2.7% Taxable Income: $22,538,945,200 Tax Charged: $775,750,000 Average Total Income: $76,066 Average Taxable Income: $69,208 Average Net Tax: $2,382 Total Income Per Capita: $31,900 …
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Essex County ranks the highest for crashes despite tough cellphone law.
If accident data is any indication, New Jersey’s tougher cellphone law does not appear to be having much effect. (See NJ Spotlight's latest interactive map here). The state passed its first ban on using a handheld cellphone while driving in 2004, but at the time it was a secondary violation, meaning drivers could only be ticketed if they were pulled over for another motor vehicle violation. With nearly 3,600 crashes linked to cellphones in 2006, lawmakers made New Jersey the fourth state in the nation in which the use of a handheld cell phone is a primary violation. That law took effect March 1, 2008. But it has not resulted in much of a reduction in the number of traffic accidents in which cellphone usage was a factor, according to data …
Friday, April 6, 2012
How fast is New Jersey growing?
New Jersey’s population inched close to 9 million last year, but the continuing flight of residents kept the state’s population increase lagging against others, according to the most recent estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. The first statewide and county-by-county population estimates since the official 2010 Census show New Jersey continues to lag behind areas in the west and south, including Washington, Texas and Georgia, that have been growing much faster. New Jersey’s smaller population increases led the state to lose one of its seats in Congress come January. According to the Census Bureau estimates, New Jersey’s population rose by 29,261 between April 1, 2010 and July 1, 2011 to 8.82 million. That’s an increase of just .3 percent…
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Almost 90 percent of NJ high school juniors graded proficient in reading and writing.
About nine in 10 New Jersey public high school juniors were proficient in reading and writing, and three-quarters mastered math last year, according to results from the High School Proficiency Assessment. How did your school do? You can find out on NJ Spotlight's new interact map. Click on the map to see a district’s average scores, as well as the number of students tested and the percentage that passed (rated proficient and advanced proficient) and those that failed (partially proficient). (Use the map here). Each school’s profile also shows its district factor group (DFG) ranking. DFGs range from A, which have the lowest socioeconomic characteristics, through J, the wealthiest communities. R indicates charter; V, vocational. Schools in …
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Worried about high property taxes in the Garden State? Here's why.
High property taxes consistently rank as the biggest, or one of the biggest concerns of New Jersey voters. To find out how high they actually are, you can use NJ Spotlight's new interactive map. It shows tax data for 2011 and how it has changed since 2009, or during the first two years of Gov. Chris Christie’s tenure. Data includes the total tax levy, total tax rate, average home value, and property tax bill on that average residence -- as well as the size of the average property tax rebate and the net average property tax bill when adjusted for that rebate. The two-year change is calculated for each. All information comes from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs’ property tax spreadsheets. We've pulled out some of the …
Monday, February 6, 2012
Use a new interactive map to plot percentage of students attending private school.
Private vs. public school? With an average tuition of about $20,000, that's the million dollar question for parents considering the extra cost. What’s been their answer? A new interactive map created by NJ Spotlight shows the percentage of kids attending private schools across New Jersey. (See the map here) To find out how many students in your community are attending private school, simply click on a municipality. You'll see the total number of children in grades K-12, along with breakdowns of the percentages of children going to public and private schools in three categories - kindergarten, elementary, and high school -- as well as the totals. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates attendance in public and private schools as part of the …
Saturday, January 28, 2012
NJ Spotlight surveys statistics to help identify the best hospitals.
Saturday, January 28, 2012
Ever wonder how well your local hospital is doing? The New Jersey Department of Health rated 72 major hospitals across the state according to the number of deaths per 100 patients for pneumonia, stroke, heart attack, and heart failure. The average mortality rates were 2.4 percent for pneumonia, 3.4 percent for stroke, 5.9 percent for heart attack, and 8.2 percent for heart failure. To create the map, NJ Spotlight's Colleen O'Dea used the Mortality Inpatient Quality Indicator. Using a statistical method called “risk adjusting,” the numbers are adjusted to account for differences in patient characteristics. For example, a patient’s previous health status, like a chronic illness or advanced age, may influence the outcome of the treatment. The…