Honors College Thesis


Segregation in Public Schools Through the Lens of Tiebout Theory: A case study of Oregon's open enrollment policy Public Deposited

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  • In 2011 Oregon enacted a public education open enrollment policy that gives students and families the choice of what school to attend, regardless of district lines. Despite the lack of public information, this policy will sunset this school year unless it is further extended during legislative session. This paper attempts to discover possible negative externalities of the policy by analyzing segregation trends within Oregon and Washington for the years 2007-2017. We analyze how students sort themselves into isolated populations based on ethnic and socioeconomic factors by running an event study and multiple linear regressions. In summation, this research failed to identify a strong tie between open enrollment and segregation, but did conclude that sorting was occurring while schools also became more populated with students of low socioeconomic status. Therefore, if the policy succeeds in increasing efficiency and improves student and school outcomes, then legislators should consider extending the policy.
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