Impact of Infrastructure on Education

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Deteriorating infrastructure can have a significant negative effect on education, particularly in communities where school boards are already strapped for funds. The litany of effects is long and many seem trivial, but they quickly add up:  School buses bumping slowly down a potholed and rutted street, or hurrying to meet schedules and suffering much higher breakdown rates and maintenance costs; more snow days with unplowed roads; higher teacher & student absentee rates and more difficulty getting teachers to work where roads and other services are bad; lack of internet; schools closed because of power outages or sewer/water main breaks.

Rich districts rarely have to deal with things like this, but go to any school district in a severe poverty area, like the barrios along the Rio Grande, and you will see the damage it does.  In effect, the state “saves” a few million by deferring maintenance in rural areas (and of course it’s not a true saving), but in the process it makes life more expensive for everyone in the area, including the schools, effectively taking money from poor school districts to finance state budgets in a bizarre anti-Robin Hood process.

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