How Do Families’ Transportation Options Shape School Choice in New Orleans?

This descriptive study investigates how transportation options influence school choice and accessibility for families in New Orleans. The authors focus on students entering Kindergarten and 9th grade between 2015 and 2017 and their various modes of transportation – by foot, car, public transit, or school bus. They find that access to a car is strongly associated with families’ school choice, as it allows families to consider a wider array of schools regardless of their residential location. While school bus services also enhance accessibility for non-car-owning families, reliance on public transit or walking significantly limits school options. The study also highlights a strong correlation between neighborhood car access and the likelihood of families applying to and securing placements in preferred schools, suggesting transportation plays a critical role in educational opportunity. This study was conducted by the Education Research Alliance for New Orleans.

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