Does the Cost‐Cutting Strategy of Closing Public Schools Provide Financial Benefits? Evidence From Ohio

From 1995 through 2014, 15 percent of school districts nationwide closed at least one school without opening any new school. Although budgetary constraints have been claimed as a major reason to close a public school, no empirical study has examined the financial benefits of school closures. This study finds that Ohio school closures reduce an average district's total operating expenditures by $278–$285 per pupil, and that savings come primarily from cuts in classroom instructional services, including teachers. This study provides empirical evidence on the financial implications of school closings needed for stakeholders involved in a school closing process.