ERIC Number: ED214715
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Population Change and Community Services: The Case of the Public Schools. Staff Paper Series #28.
Moore, Dan E.; Alter, Theodore R.
Enrollment changes between 1970 and 1976 in the 504 public school districts in Pennsylvania were examined in light of "turnaround" (revival of growth in nonmetropolitan areas). Each district was classified into one of four categories according to the size of the largest urban place in the district, so that enrollment changes within metropolitan and nonmetropolitan counties could be examined. The general "turnaround" literature was supported in that there were higher rates of growth in nonmetropolitan counties. On the average, more rural school districts were growing while all other district categories were declining. "Turnaround" was not happening everywhere; many rural communities were still losing population. As the category of decline increased, local revenue sources were depended on more, and per pupil expenditures became higher. However, school enrollment changes (both decline and growth) provide opportunity for rethinking the role of the school as a "mechanism for rural development." Schools, especially in rural communities, are key institutions. Decline in number of students need not imply decline in commitment to or quality of public education. The potential for strengthened education programs and more viable communities is clearly present if we can get beyond negative connotations of decline and unquestioning faith in the goodness of growth. (BRR)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park. Coll. of Agriculture.
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Rural Sociological Society (Burlington, VT, August 24-26, 1979).