PACE Event

Declining Enrollment, School Closures, and Equity Considerations


Declining student enrollment is leading to a loss of revenue in many California school districts. To address ongoing budget shortfalls, many districts have consolidated or shuttered schools, and others are contemplating doing so. In this session, Carrie Hahnel (PACE/Bellwether) and Francis A. Pearman II (Stanford Graduate School of Education) will discuss their new policy brief, "Declining Enrollment, School Closures, and Equity Considerations," which explores the racial dimensions of school closures and how to address them. Pearman will also discuss a newly released PACE report, Centering Equity in the School-Closure Process in California, showing that closures are far more common for schools that serve higher proportions of Black students, and Hahnel will situate these disparities within the U.S. history of segregation, neighborhood disinvestment, and gentrification, and provide evidence and suggestions to help education leaders center equity as they confront declining enrollment-related school closures.

Speakers included:

  • Carrie Hahnel, Senior Policy and Research Fellow, PACE and Senior Associate Partner for Policy and Evaluation, Bellwether
  • Francis A Pearman II, Assistant Professor of Education, Stanford Graduate School of Education

This seminar was moderated by H. Alix Gallagher, Director of Strategic Partnerships, PACE.