Affordable Housing, Community Development, Fact Sheets

New Housing Doesn’t Automatically Bring New Students and Inflate Your School


Not all housing brings new children. Most school budget increases are not related to enrollment, or to the number of children in housing.

Studying seven Massachusetts communities with mixed-income housing between 1994 and 2004, the University of Massachusetts Donohue Institute found teaching staff levels and overall expenditures increased independently of changes in enrollment.

During that time period, school enrollments statewide were essentially flat, while employment of full time equivalent (FTE) teaching staff increased by eight percent, and total school expenditures grew by 28.6 percent. Some school districts studied had costs rise significantly even while their enrollment declined. There are clear fiscal pressures on municipalities due to educational costs but there is no evidence that student enrollment growth is the cause of the budgetary problems.

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