School Closures and Their Impact on Local Communities
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Due to a number of factors, traditional school closings and consolidations have become very common in cities across the United States. Many forces at play cause a public school district to shut down or merge neighborhood schools. The reasons most commonly cited are significant reductions in enrollment or underutilization, market competition from newly formed charter schools, and poor academic performance. School closures also tend to affect students of color, low-income students, and students with special educational needs disproportionately. Since the beginning of this phenomenon, a significant amount of attention has been placed on the impact of school closings on student performance for obvious reasons, yet little work has been done to analyze the impact of such neighborhood school instability on communities as a whole.