A reassessment of the socialand economic impact ofschools on rural communitiesJohn Sipple, Sutee Anantsuksomsri,Nij Tontisirin, Joe D. Francis - Program in AppliedDemographicsPresented at the 2013 Federal Reserve System ResearchConference, Washington, D.C. April 11, 2013
Introduction• View that schools in rural communities are central tocommunity vitality (e.g., the hub of community life).• School district consolidation and school closure areoften proposed to relieve fiscal stress (reduce taxburden & enhancing educational opportunity).• It is unclear to what extent schools play in the socialand economic vitality of rural communities.
Introduction• Lyson (2002) showed that the presence of schoolsprovide significant social and economic benefits torural communities.• Lyson’s Findings:– In smallest rural communities, the presence of a school isassociated with higher housing values– Higher per capita income from self-employment is foundin communities with schools– Higher proportion of workers in communities with schoolare employed within their villages
This Study• This paper revisits Lyson’s hypothesis by employing2000 & 2010 Census and geoinformatic analysis ofschool locations in New York State.• Like Lyson, we focus on rural villages (i.e.incorporated villages with population 2,500 or less)• These rural villages are further categorized bypresence or absence of public schools
Data & Methodology• Data are primarily drawn from two databases:1. Census data• 2000 Census (short form & long form)• 2010 Census (decennial & ACS)• Census geography TIGER/Line® shapefile: rural incorporated villages inNew York State (NYS) of both 2000 & 2010 Census2. Public school directory from NYS Department of Education(2010) and Cornell Program on Applied Demographics (2000)• Key variables include:– population characteristics– housing characteristics– income and welfare– occupational and employment characteristics
Population 500 or lessPopulation 501 to 2,500Population 2,500+ (urban)2010 PlacesTotal: 1,18973 66272 2452000 2010exclude 32 outliers (based on village’s median house value)705 846
Discussions & Conclusions• We find more nuanced relationships between thepresence of schools and community vitality– Stabilizing/Constraining impact of schools– Once controlling for other factors, the presence of schools onlyimpacts HH Income (less so for large).– Once controlling for other factors, larger villages are more prosperous• Further studies– panel analysis (1990-2010)– Does distance from village center to school matter.