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ERIC Number: ED540876
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Pages: 16
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 16
Rural School District Enrollment and Building Capacity: Projections for the Next 10 Years
Yan, Wenfan
Center for Rural Pennsylvania
Given the shifting population trends across the U.S. and Pennsylvania, it is important for policy makers and school districts to know what to expect, in terms of school district enrollment and facility needs, in the coming years. This research was conducted to provide a perspective on the potential building needs of school districts over the next 10 years. The researcher developed an inventory of school buildings in rural Pennsylvania through a survey of rural school districts, analyzed enrollment trends for rural school districts over the next 10 years, developed a statistical model to examine future building needs, and determined whether school districts will be at risk of under- or over-capacity. The findings provide a complex portrait of Pennsylvania's current rural school building conditions and projections of building use over the next 10 years. For example, while the majority of rural school district respondents reported that their school building conditions were satisfactory, a sizable minority reported their building conditions as unsatisfactory. The research revealed that the average age of Pennsylvania rural school buildings is older than the national average age of rural schools. Fifteen percent of rural schools in the survey had a functional age of 35 years or more. Many aging rural schools have experienced problems with energy efficiency and other environmental conditions that interfere with classroom learning. Over the next 10 years, rural Pennsylvania school enrollment is projected to decrease 8 percent. The most significant enrollment decline is projected to be in western Pennsylvania, where rural school districts may have a 16 percent decline. (Contains 2 figures, 3 tables, and 1 footnote.)
Center for Rural Pennsylvania. 200 North Third Street Suite 600, Harrisburg, PA 17101. Tel: 717-787-9555; Fax: 717-772-3587; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center for Rural Pennsylvania
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania