Schools Ring Closing Bell

Publication: The Wall Street Journal

Author: Stephanie Banchero

12/02/2012 - ''During the 2010-11 school year, school districts nationwide closed 1,069 traditional public schools, uprooting nearly 280,000 students, according to data compiled for The Wall Street Journal by the National Center for Education Statistics, the primary federal entity for national school data. That was up from 717 closings affecting 193,000 students in 2000-01, according to the data, which don't include specialized schools, such as those for special-education students.

Even charters aren't immune. In 2010-11, 128 charter schools were closed, compared with 44 in 2000-01, the data show. This past week, the National Association of Charter School Authorizers, a nonprofit group that represents government and other entities that approve charter-school applications, called on its members to close hundreds of poor-performing charters and urged new state laws to improve accountability. The group said at least 900 of the nation's 6,000 charters, which also receive private donations, post test scores that land them in the bottom 15% of all schools in their states.''

Closing schools doesn't necessarily yield a financial windfall, because teachers often are shuffled to other schools and vacant school buildings are tough to unload, according to a 2011 study by Pew Charitable Trusts' Philadelphia Research Initiative. 'There is nothing easy about closing schools and it is extremely difficult to find productive uses for the buildings,' said Emily Dowdall, a senior researcher at Pew.'' 

Read the full article, Schools Ring Closing Bell, on The Wall Street Journal website.  

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