New York Students Chart

New York spent $24,040  on each of its 2.7 million students in 2019. This has more than doubled since 1999. New York has seen a large decrease in the number of students in public schools, with about 170,000 fewer students than in 1999. New York has the fourth-highest amount of students in public schools behind California, Texas, and Florida, which are the states with the largest population. There are 12 students for every teacher in New York state, which is below the 50-state average of 15.  READ MORE

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Illinois pensions are underfunded

Illinois has the largest unfunded pensions in the United States. In 2018, Illinois owed $139.7 billion in unfunded pensions. That is 746 percent more than the 50-state average. The state has only set aside 39 cents for every dollar that was promised in benefits. Illinois unfunded pensions make up the largest portion of the state’s overall $222.3 billion debt


In 2019, Illinois unfunded pension debt grew to $144 billion and the overall debt grew $4 billion to $226 billion.  READ MORE

Chicago's 2019 debt

Chicago’s financial position worsened by $2 billion in the 2019 Fiscal Year

Chicago’s financial position worsened by $2 billion in the 2019 Fiscal Year. The city needs $36.4 billion to pay off its debt. A large portion of this unfunded debt is in unfunded pension and retiree health care. Chicago owes $31.8 billion in unfunded pension debt and $829 million in unfunded retiree health care benefits.  
To pay off the city’s $36.4 debt each Chicago taxpayer would need to pay $39,400. This worsened by $2,300 from the previous fiscal year.  READ MORE

Chicago debt chart 1

Chicago's debt

With the help of the money from the federal government, Chicago city council passed Mayor Lightfoot’s coronavirus relief money. The Federal government gave Chicago $1.1 billion to help pay for COVID-19 related expenses, including the tax revenue the city is losing due to closures. Unfortunately $1.1 billion is not going to put a dent in the city’s $34.4 billion total debt. Each Chicago taxpayer would need to pay $34,100 to pay off the city’s debt.   READ MORE

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Police expenditures in America

California, a state that is $275 billion in debt, spent $1.9 billion on police expenditures, which is over five times the 50-state average. In 2016, Santa Ana police cost their city $6.8 million to settle two wrongful death suits. 

Out of the 50 state, New Jersey has the most police officers with 36 police officers per 10,000 people, but the state has the sixth least amount of violent crimes per 100,000. At 1.6 percent, Vermont spends the highest percentage on police protection but has the second-fewest violent crimes per 100,000 residents.  READ MORE

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States with the highest graduation rates

While graduation looks different this year, that doesn’t diminish the achievements the class of 2020 have made throughout their schooling. 

In 2017, Vermont had the highest rate of students graduating in six years at 64.8 percent, followed by Rhode Island and Massachusetts with 64.2 percent and 63.2 percent respectively. The state with the smallest percentage of students graduating in six years is Alaska with 32.5 percent.

Iowa and New Jersey are the only states with a high school graduation rate over 90 percent. Iowa has the highest high school graduation rate with 91 percent of students receiving a diploma. New Jersey is close behind with a 90.5 percent high school graduation rate. New Mexico has the smallest percentage of graduates with only 71.1 percent making it across the stage on graduation day.    READ MORE

Illinois FY2019 1

Illinois finances continued to decline

In the fiscal year 2019, Illinois’ financial position worsened by $2.1 billion. The state finances have been on a steady decline since 2009. Currently, Illinois is $226 billion in debt. Since 2009, Illinois’ financial position has worsened by 88 percent. 

The state has been fiscally mismanaged for many years. Gov. Pritzker claims the budget is balanced, but he is not including unfunded pensions and retiree health care benefits. The largest portion of Illinois debt is the combined $200.3 billion the state owes in pensions and retiree health care benefits. Illinois pensions are only 38 percent funded while no money has been set aside to fund retiree health care benefits.  READ MORE

State park spending

State park spending

There are a total of  8,565 state parks in the United States covering 18 million acres of land. State parks saw 807 million visitors in 2017.  The total amount of money spent on state parks in fiscal year 2017 was $6.5 billion, but state parks and recreation spending averages only 0.156 percent of the state budgets.

New York spends the most on parks and recreation followed by California. New York’s spending is 448 percent higher than the 50-state average. As of 2017, New York has 215 state parks and historic sites encompassing 350,000 acres. The state spent $713 million in 2017, which equals out to more than $2,000 dollars an acre.  READ MORE

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Unfunded Medicare and Social Security promises

In 2019, the United State’s financial situation worsened by $8 trillion. The true national debt is $100 trillion higher than the published national debt. The published national debt does not include unfunded Medicare and Social Security promises. Unfunded Medicare and Social Security promises both increased by eight percent in the fiscal year 2019. Medicare is currently $52.7 trillion underfunded and Social Security is $37.6 trillion underfunded.

Fifteen percent of Americans are enrolled in Medicare, which is about 44 million people. This number is expected to grow to 79 million in the next ten years. Will the United States be able to keep its promise and fund Medicare for these 79 million people? 

See the full chart here.   READ MORE

Coronavirus cases and the unemployment rate are on the rise

The economy has been a hot topic these last few weeks. In just a few months we went from having the strongest economy the United States has ever had to seeing stocks fall farther than they did during the Great Depression. 

In the last decade, the unemployment rate peaked in 2010 during the recession. In 2018, there were 6.3 million unemployed Americans. In the last week, 3.3 million people filed for unemployment in the United States, which is a 47.7 percent increase. It is estimated that up to 40 million Americans could lose their jobs in April. The unemployment rate in February was 3.5 percent, but studies show that it has jumped to 5.5 percent in the last week.  READ MORE

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