The relationship between the condition of school facilities and certain educational outcomes, particularly in rural public high schools in texas



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Texas Tech University


If the condition of facilities in some schools is such that the schools cannot provide a quality education for its students equal to that of other schools, then equal educational opportunity may not be available for all children. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between the condition of rural public high school facilities in Texas and student achievement, student attendance, and teacher turnover, while controlling for the effects of student wealth level, school district wealth level, and percent minority students.

The measures for the condition of facilities variables used in this study were obtained from the 2006 Texas Comptroller's Facility Survey of the 1,037 public school districts in Texas. The participants for this study were the 72 rural public high schools out of the 309 total responses to the survey from all district types. Multiple regression analyses were utilized to examine which selected condition of facilities variables and demographic variables best predicted certain educational outcomes.

This study found that the student wealth level contributed most to the variance in student achievement. However, the condition of school facilities has a measurable effect over and above socioeconomic conditions on student achievement and teacher turnover, particularly when found in rural schools made up of primarily low-income students. Significant findings with regard to condition of school facilities included:

  1. Rural public high schools with a large percentage of portable classrooms have lower student achievement and higher teacher turnover.
  2. Rural public high schools with a large percentage of deferred maintenance in their facilities have lower student achievement.

School leaders are not able to control the socioeconomic conditions of the students they serve. The do, however, have some control over the quality of their school facilities. Excellent facilities for children who need them the least and inadequate facilities for the ones who need them the most violates the principal of equal educational opportunity for all children.