The Economics of Education: Exploring the Relationship between Quality of Schools, Property Tax and Urban Sprawl
Khiroya, Radhika C.
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The topic of education is an issue constantly discussed and debated in the United States. The importance of education to society as a whole is also an issue that needs to be recognized. Many of societies tribulations can be broken down in terms of the educated and the non-educated. The first half of this paper researches the differences in income, race, educational attainment and performance, crime and educational funding. Each of these differences arises due to the difference in the amount of education. Those with lower paying jobs or no job at all, tend to have a lower a lower level of education than those who are employed. Those who attend schools in lower income areas tend to be minorities who do not have access to better learning resources to help promote education. Those who tend to be economically disadvantaged tend to do poorly on standardized tests. This paper discusses how this stratification between and population sprawl arises. To see the application of the theories discussed in the descriptive section, the second half of the paper applies them to the Grand Rapids, MI metropolitan statistical area (MSA) and the Kalamazoo, MI MSA. The paper specifically attempts to address how does quality of school relate to property taxes. The data was collected from various sources; the US Census Bureau, the Michigan Informational Directory, the Michigan State Board of Education and the Standard and Poor's School Evaluation Services. Overall this paper found that the effects of urban sprawl on children are cyclical and lead from one generation to the next. One reason may be that a child brought up in poverty conditions has a harder time finding adequate jobs or resources for further schooling as they get older. This leaves them to endure the same unforgiving conditions as earlier generations. Families with higher socioeconomic statutes tend to have more opportunities and the financial flexibility move to the suburbs to get away from the run-down conditions of the city. Urban sprawl and education are part of this reoccurring trend that is a part of society and must be addressed seriously.