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ERIC Number: ED553148
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Mar
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
School Closings Policy. Issue Brief
Research For Action
The nation's largest school districts have increasingly turned to building closures to address budget deficits, demographic shifts, and the movement of students to charter schools. Over the past decade, 70 large or mid-sized cities closed schools--averaging 11 buildings per closure. This trend shows no signs of slowing. Washington, D.C. closed 23 buildings in 2008. Officials are currently considering another 15 closures. New York City closed more than 140 schools since 2002; leaders recently announced plans to shutter 17 more, beginning in 2013-14. Chicago closed 40-plus buildings in the early 2000s. The district recently released a list of 129 schools to be considered for closure. In Pennsylvania, Philadelphia's School Reform Commissioners are expected to vote in early March on a plan to close 29 schools, more than 10 percent of the district's complement. Pittsburgh, the state's second-largest district, has halved its building capacity since 1997. With school administrators in nearly 100 districts statewide expecting to experience financial distress within three years, closure--and other approaches to cost-savings--hold relevance for the entire Commonwealth. This brief, presented in Q&A form, is designed to inform school closure debates and decisions with a summary of rigorous research on large-scale school closings and the experiences of major districts nationwide.
Research for Action. 3701 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104. Tel: 215-823-2500; Fax: 215-823-2510; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Reports - Research-practitioner Partnerships
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Research for Action, Pennsylvania Clearinghouse for Education Research (PACER)
Identifiers - Location: District of Columbia; Illinois; New York; Pennsylvania