Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

No kids in public school? You still benefit

Date:
February 17, 2012
Source:
Michigan State University
Summary:
Quality public schools benefit everyone – including those without school-aged children – and therefore everyone should play a role in maintaining them, according to a new study.

Quality public schools benefit everyone -- including those without school-aged children -- and therefore everyone should play a role in maintaining them, according to a scholars.
Credit: AVAVA / Fotolia

Quality public schools benefit everyone -- including those without school-aged children -- and therefore everyone should play a role in maintaining them, according to a study by two Michigan State University scholars.

Senior citizens and others who don't have children in school often argue they should be exempt from paying school taxes because they don't benefit from the schools. But that's not true, argues Zachary Neal, sociologist and lead researcher on the study, which appears in the Journal of Urban Affairs.

"Those without kids in school are getting just as much benefit from public schools as those with kids and accordingly should be just as responsible for maintaining the schools," Neal said. "It's unfair for those without kids to benefit from public schools but not play a role in taking care of the schools."

While many communities offer various school-tax exemptions, those who don't have children in school routinely oppose paying any school taxes, Neal said. In Michigan, nearly half of the 505 school bond elections between 2000 and 2005 failed, according to a March 2010 study in the journal Educational Policy.

In their study, Neal and co-author Jennifer Watling Neal, assistant professor of psychology, analyzed the data from a Gallup survey of more than 20,000 people from 26 U.S. communities from Michigan to Florida to California. As part of the survey, participants were asked how satisfied they were with their communities and to rate the overall quality of their public schools.

The researchers found a strong relationship between those who were satisfied with their communities and quality schools. This finding was not affected by gender, age, race, employment status or whether the participant owned or rented a home or had children in school.

"We found that having quality public schools makes people more satisfied with their community regardless of whether they had kids in the schools or not," Neal said.

Neal said this is likely due to two major reasons:

  • Public schools offer amenities to the entire community such as adult education courses, after-hours computer labs, workout facilities, auditorium space for churches and other groups, and more.
  • Public schools have the more indirect benefit of promoting relationships among neighborhood residents. These relationships lead to issues getting solved -- such as broken streetlights, unplowed streets or crime problems -- that benefit everyone.

"I think it really boils down to seeing public schools as more than just schools," Neal said. "They're community institutions that have an educational mission first and foremost, but they also have these other benefits as well."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Michigan State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Zachary P. Neal, Jennifer Watling Neal. The Public School as a Public Good: Direct and Indirect Pathways to Community Satisfaction. Journal of Urban Affairs, 2012; DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9906.2011.00595.x

Cite This Page:

Michigan State University. "No kids in public school? You still benefit." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 February 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120217145743.htm>.
Michigan State University. (2012, February 17). No kids in public school? You still benefit. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120217145743.htm
Michigan State University. "No kids in public school? You still benefit." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120217145743.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued new protocols for healthcare workers interacting with Ebola patients. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) Researchers in South Korea are developing a robotic pilot that could potentially replace humans in the cockpit. Unlike drones and autopilot programs which are configured for specific aircraft, the robots' humanoid design will allow it to fly any type of plane with no additional sensors. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Tens of thousands of doses of experimental Ebola vaccines could be available for "real-world" testing in West Africa as soon as January as long as they are deemed safe in soon to start trials, the World Health Organization said Tuesday. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Urgent-Care Clinics Ill-Equipped to Treat Ebola

Urgent-Care Clinics Ill-Equipped to Treat Ebola

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Urgent-care clinics popping up across the US are not equipped to treat a serious illness like Ebola and have been told to immediately call a hospital and public health officials if they suspect a patient may be infected. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins