MIDLAND, Texas (KMID/KPEJ) – The Abell-Hanger Foundation recently released findings of a study which explores the impact of capital expenditures for school construction and renovation on student, teacher, and community outcomes.

Commissioned by the Foundation, the American Institutes of Research conducted an unbiased and objective analysis of available research on the topic, according to a release from the Abell-Hanger Foundation. They say the goal is to provide information for residents of Midland and surrounding communities.

AIR is a non-profit organization that conducts and applies research to improve the quality of life for individuals and communities. Here are some of the study’s key findings divided into categories:

Time Dependent Effects

  • Capital projects positively influence student test score, though these effects may take some time to materialize. New schools or major renovations often undergo a transition period that can lead to unchanged student achievement, initially.

Disadvantaged Students and Learning Environments

  • Some studies indicate that new school construction can have the most significant impact on test scores, especially for disadvantaged students. It can also create less crowded learning environments that benefit students continuing at the original facilities.

Capital Projects vs. School Operations

  • The study revealed spending on capital projects appears to impact student test scores less than investments in school operations.

Housing Market Effects

  • The study emphasizes that school bonds play a substantial role in increasing housing prices in the affected school districts, as well as their neighboring communities.

Teacher Attrition and Retention

  • Additionally, the study stresses the need for further research to comprehensively understand the impact of bond measures on teacher attrition and retention. The study says more extensive studies are needed to represent the diverse school contexts across the nation accurately.

The Foundation says these results underscore the intricate and multifaceted relationship between capital expenditures in education and their resultant outcomes. AIR says continued research and analysis will provide a clearer understanding of the most effective strategies, ensuring these investments lead to improved education for all.