What You Can Do About 'Education Deserts'
North American Precis Syndicate
A new report used mapping software to generate drive-time distances to different types and quality of schools. (NAPS)
(NAPSI)—The U.S. Department of Education reports that nearly 57
million children will go to shool in America this
year. Some of them live in what are known as “education deserts,”
but fortunately, there are solutions.
Mapping School Deserts
A new study used geospatial analysis software to map families’ drive
times to schools, whether public, magnet, charter or voucher-accepting
private schools. It discovered three kinds of deserts:
• In A-rated school deserts,
no A-rated schools of any kind are within a 30-minute drive for families in a
• In choice deserts, no
options such as charter, magnet or voucher-participating schools exist within
a 30-minute drive for families, other than the zoned traditional public
• In educational opportunity
zone deserts, families’ only option within a 30-minute drive radius
is a D- or F-rated traditional public school.
The study also found that even in places considered to be choice-rich when
it comes to education, such as the state of Indiana, access to quality
schools is not universal.
The report on Indiana’s Schooling Deserts found that more than
100,000 families choose a school for their children other than the one that
was residentially assigned.
Maps produced for the report show where families do not have options when
it comes to highly rated or nontraditional schooling options and where
policymakers and education entrepreneurs might find opportunity to support or
grow more high-quality options.
The Good News
Nine out of 10 Hoosier families are a 15-minute drive or less from an
A-rated K−8 school of any type (public, private or charter) and a
21-minute drive from an A-rated high school of any type. All Indiana students
are within 45 minutes of an A-rated school of any type.
The Bad News
Nevertheless, there are 24,810 K−8 students who live in a choice
desert, meaning they are 30 minutes or more away from a K−8 other than
the zoned public school. That number jumps significantly for high schoolers—45,072 students live in a high school
Certain parts of the state are struggling to provide quality regardless of
school type. About 7,000 K−8 students and about 400 high school
students attend the D- or F-rated schools, according to the map.
Who Can Help
The study was conducted on behalf of EdChoice, a
nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to advancing full and
unencumbered educational choice as the best pathway to successful lives and a
stronger society. It believes that families, not bureaucrats, are best
equipped to make K−12 schooling decisions for their children and works
to educate diverse audiences, train advocates and engage policymakers on the
benefits of high-quality school choice programs.
To view an interactive map and school choice dashboard to see which
programs are available for children you care about, go to www.edchoice.org.
“A new report used mapping software to generate
drive-time distances to different types and quality of schools. http://bit.ly/2QpTJ05”
On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)