Copyright 2002 Connie Chung. The Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation (dba NeighborWorks® America) has full rights to use and distribute this document.
Using Public Schools as Community-Development Tools: Strategies for Community-Based Developers
This paper explores the use of public schools as tools for community and economic development. As major place-based infrastructure and an integral part of the community fabric, public schools can have a profound impact on the social, economic and physical character of a neighborhood. Addressing public schools, therefore, is a good point of entry for community-based developers to place their work in a comprehensive community-development context. The paper examines ways in which community-based developers can learn from, as well as contribute to, current community-based efforts, particularly in disinvested urban areas, to reinforce the link between public schools and neighborhoods. Furthermore, the paper considers the policy implications of including public schools in comprehensive development strategies, and argues that reinforcing the link between public schools and neighborhoods is not only good education policy, but also good community-development policy and practice.