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Lost Classroom, Lost CommunityCatholic Schools' Importance in Urban America$
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Margaret F. Brinig and Nicole Stelle Garnett

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226122007

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226122144.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 20 September 2021

Catholic School Closures and Neighborhood Social Capital

Catholic School Closures and Neighborhood Social Capital

(p.57) Chapter Three Catholic School Closures and Neighborhood Social Capital
Lost Classroom, Lost Community

Margaret F. Brinig

Nicole Stelle Garnett

University of Chicago Press

The Archdiocese of Chicago alone has closed over 150 schools since 1984. Since urban Catholic schools have a strong track record of educating disadvantaged children, these school closures have prompted concern in education policy circles. Focusing instead on what is called externalities, and using three decades of data drawn from the census and from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods (“PHDCN”), the chapter explores what a Catholic school means to the Chicago neighborhoods where they operated for decades. Catholic elementary schools apparently generate significant social capital: neighborhood social cohesion decreases and disorder increases following an elementary school closure, even after controlling for numerous demographic variables that would tend to predict neighborhood decline. The chapter disaggregates the school closure decision from demographics, using an instrumental variable based on pastor connection to the parish school.

Keywords:   externalities, schools, urban, Catholic, Chicago, priest, neighborhood, social capital

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