• Youth Homelessness
  • Volume 20, Number 3
  • Managing Editor: Mark D. Shroder
  • Associate Editor: Michelle P. Matuga
 

School Performance of Schools Assigned to HUD-Assisted Households

Brent Mast
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Opinions expressed in this introduction are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or the U.S. government.


This study examines school performance of schools assigned to households in four U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) rental assistance programs: The Tenant-Based Voucher (TBV); Project-Based Voucher (PBV); Public Housing (PH); and Project-Based Section 8 (PBS8).

School performance is measured by the percentage of fourth grade students proficient in math and reading according to state standardized tests. Past studies have examined performance of schools near, but not assigned to, HUD assisted households. Public schools are matched to HUD households by geocoding the household addresses to Maponics school attendance zone data. School zones are then matched to school performance data from GreatSchools.

Results indicate that for households in each program, school performance is well below national averages and below national averages for students eligible for free or reduced-price lunches. Adjusting for differences in the proportion of students that are economically disadvantaged, school performance of schools assigned to assisted households is greater but still below national averages.

Results from statistical models controlling for differences across states in proficiency standards indicate that schools assigned to TBV and PBS8 households are significantly more proficient in reading and math compared to schools assigned to PBV and PH households. Comparisons of schools assigned to TBV and PBS8 households are sensitive to the sample of households analyzed. When all households are analyzed, schools assigned to PBS8 households outperform those assigned to TBV households on average. When the analysis is limited to households with elementary age children, average performance of schools assigned to TBV households is greater than that of schools assigned to PBS8 households.

For each HUD program, average school performance of schools assigned to all assisted households is markedly greater than that of schools assigned to households with elementary age children, which raises questions regarding HUD’s ability to place households with children in opportunity neighborhoods.


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