STATES IN MOTION: Visualizing how education funding has changed over time

After a complete redesign and the addition of new data, we’re excited to relaunch “States in Motion.”

The project explores numerous datasets through interactive charts for all 50 states plus the District of Columbia. The idea behind the project is to take a historical look at how the economic and social conditions have changed for each state over time, and how those changes have impacted investment in education and student achievement. Each section explores specific data in chart form and offers context in related text. There could be many stories in each chart; we’re telling just one of them.

The charts and context are California-centric, meaning we mainly explored how California has changed compared with other states historically over numerous data metrics. Some of the questions going into the project include:

  • How does California’s investment in public education compare with that of other states?
  • How has that investment changed over the decades?
  • What does spending look like when compared with datasets like a state’s per-capita personal income, proportion of students in poverty, and teacher salaries?
  • And what’s the correlation, if any, between state spending on education and student test scores as well as between test scores and percentage of students in poverty?

Check out the project.