School resources and schooling outcomes in a frontier society: evidence from British Columbia, 1900-19201
Elementary schooling in North America in the early 20th century underwent major changes with the spread of graded schools with multiple classrooms and teachers to semi-urban and rural areas. Detailed schooling records from British Columbia indicate that pupil attendance responded strongly to the introduction of additional teachers in one-room schools. The attendance impact of grading a school dominated alternatives such as employing more highly qualified teachers, or building additional schools to reduce catchment areas. Changes in the provision of schooling can account for about a quarter of the 30 percentage point increase in attendance rates between 1900 and 1930.
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