A new regional brief from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s New England Public Policy Center explores the declining school-age population in northern New England. The research finds that all 40 New England counties saw shrinking numbers of children between 2000 and 2017, a trend that is expected to continue for nearly all counties into 2030. Decreasing K-12 enrollment has been coupled with lower shares of state and local spending, and higher per-pupil expenditures than in other parts of the country. The report finds that 14% of Northern New England public schools open in 2000 were closed by 2017, as districts consolidate and close schools to save on overhead costs. The authors suggest options include increasing revenues, readjusting allocations to education versus other municipal costs, reducing the cost of delivering K-12 education, or increasing the school-aged population with policies and incentives. #education
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