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The Determinants of High School Closures: Lessons from Longitudinal Data throughout Illinois

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Author Info

  • Billger, Sherrilyn M.

    ()
    (Illinois State University)

  • Beck, Frank D.

    ()
    (Illinois State University)

Abstract

Facing substantial financial pressure, many districts close schools in order to preserve solvency and improve student outcomes. Using a new longitudinal data set on all non-Cook County Illinois schools, we examine the determinants of high school closure decisions from 1991 through 2005. Our dataset combines information from a wide variety of sources, including the Illinois State Board of Education, the Census Bureau, the Illinois Department of Revenue, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Prior studies in this area typically use cross-sectional data, short panels, or case-studies. Schools that close have lower enrollments, are located in more rural areas, and have higher per-pupil expenditures. Enrollments and fiscal resources are indeed the most important determinants of school closures. Neither math and reading test scores nor the sociodemographics of the students have a significant impact on high school closure decisions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4641.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Education Finance, 2012, 38 (2), 83-101
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4641

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Keywords: human capital; education finance; economics of education; secondary education;

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  1. Ratcliffe, Kerri & Riddle, Bruce & Yinger, John, 1990. "The fiscal condition of school districts in Nebraska: Is small beautiful?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 81-99, March.
  2. Brasington, David M., 1999. "Joint provision of public goods: the consolidation of school districts," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(3), pages 373-393, September.
  3. David M. Brasington, 2003. "Size and School District Consolidation: Do Opposites Attract?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 70(280), pages 673-690, November.
  4. Nora Gordon & Brian Knight, 2008. "The Effects of School District Consolidation on Educational Cost and Quality," Public Finance Review, , vol. 36(4), pages 408-430, July.
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