NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Isaac McFarlin, Jr.

College of Education
University of Florida
100J Norman Hall
Gainesville, FL 32611
Tel: 352/273-4330

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NBER Program Affiliations: ED
NBER Affiliation: Faculty Research Fellow

NBER Working Papers and Publications

September 2015Investing in Schools: Capital Spending, Facility Conditions, and Student Achievement
with Paco Martorell, Kevin M. Stange: w21515
Public investments in repairs, modernization, and construction of schools cost billions. However, little is known about the nature of school facility investments, whether it actually changes the physical condition of public schools, and the subsequent causal impacts on student achievement. We study the achievement effects of nearly 1,400 capital campaigns initiated and financed by local school districts, comparing districts where school capital bonds were either narrowly approved or defeated by district voters. Overall, we find little evidence that school capital campaigns improve student achievement. Our event-study analyses focusing on students that attend targeted schools and therefore exposed to major campus renovations also generate very precise zero estimates of achievement effects. ...

Published: Paco Martorell & Kevin Stange & Isaac McFarlin, 2016. "Investing in schools: Capital spending, facility conditions, and student achievement," Journal of Public Economics, .

 
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