What is a feasibility study? Sometimes, school districts consider regionalizing to share services and save money, or de-regionalize to become their own K-12 district. In other instances, towns who tuition their students to another district (for example, to a high school) may want to terminate that sending-receiving relationship. In all of these cases, a feasibility study is required that analyzes the demographic, financial, racial, and educational impacts on such a reorganization.
Statistical Forecasting and its team of experts have conducted many feasibility studies exploring reorganization of school districts. Regardless of the type of feasibility study, our consultant team reviews volumes of data including community demographics, enrollment projections, racial balance, existing curricula, and the financial impact on each community. Based on our findings, we provide an impartial and objective summary of the advantages and disadvantages of the status quo compared to the reorganization.
Dr. Grip has testified in several administrative law hearings as an expert in school demography discussing the results as summarized in the feasibility studies.
Statistical Forecasting uses computer mapping software, which is the latest technology to provide a visual medium for analyzing demographic issues. Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software, student addresses are "pin-mapped" to show where they live.
While the use of maps can answer many different questions across a spectrum of disciplines, here are just a few:
•How should attendance areas be aligned to ensure school capacities are being maximized?
•What areas of town contain the greatest number of students?
•How can racial balance be achieved?
•Which developments have the greatest number of students per housing unit (that is, the highest student yield)?
•Where are the greatest number of children being born?
The slideshow below illustrates a few of the uses of mapping software.
Map 1 shows where approximately 10,000 students live in West Windsor and Plainsboro New Jersey, hence the term "pin-mapped".
However, it is more helpful to aggregate where students live by some level of geography, such as Census Block or Tract, to show where the greatest number of students live. Map 2 illustrates the number of students by Census Block in West Windsor, which are greatest in areas colored pink and yellow.
Student address data can also be "joined" to other databases. Map 3 shows where the greatest student yields are (number of children per housing unit). This was created by joining Census data, which contains the number of housing units at the block level. The Census block in purple contains the greatest number of children per housing unit.
As you can see, the number and type of maps that can be created are endless!
The quality of a Statistical Forecasting demographic study is unsurpassed. When we ask our clients for feedback on our studies, their number one response is that it was "the most in-depth and thorough demographic study that they have ever read". We pride ourselves in developing comprehensive, yet easy-to-understand studies, producing accurate enrollment projections. Our client satisfaction rating is unparalleled. If you want further proof, just ask our clients.
A demographic study is not just projecting enrollments for a district. This recently completed study for the East Brunswick Public Schools demonstrates the comprehensiveness of our reports. In this study, we analyzed community housing turnover, district race and poverty trends, local charter school impact, and computed student yields by street and home type, in addition to projecting enrollment.
Copyright © Statistical Forecasting. All Rights Reserved