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An Empirical Analysis of Charter School Competition and Racial Segregation

Sun, April 30, 2:15 to 3:45pm, Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Floor: Meeting Room Level, Room 216 A

Abstract

Prior research demonstrates that charter schools tend to have relatively high levels of racial segregation. Few studies, however, examine how the proliferation of charter schools has changed the racial demographics of noncharter schools. This study uses school-level data from the Public Elementary/Secondary School Universe Survey to estimate the extent to which charter school competition faced by a noncharter public school is associated with changes in racial segregation. Additionally, it explores whether this relationship is moderated by the initial demographics of the noncharter public school. Results show that, both nationally and in individual states, schools with low percentages of minority students tend to become less segregated when facing increased charter school competition, while high-minority schools tend to become more segregated.

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