School Access

A new report suggests there's a real correlation between zoning laws and the access to a high quality public school education.

The report by the Brookings Institution's Metropolitan Policy Program analyzed data from 84-thousand U-S schools in the nation's 100 largest cities, including Houston. It found that zoning laws are often barriers that create economic segregation and prevent children from getting a quality education. Although Houston stacked-up well when it came to less restrictive zoning laws, the study's author, Jonathon Rothwell, says that doesn't mean there still aren't education roadblocks here in Houston.

"It's still very expensive in Houston to live near a high-scoring school relative to a low-scoring school. It's about 2.6 times more expensive to live near a high-scoring school and that represents thousands of dollars in annual housing costs."

Several cities in Connecticut scored the worst when it came to restrictive zoning that creates economic segregation. Houston fared well in comparison to other big cities in Texas, with a smaller test score gap and housing price gap than Dallas and San Antonio.


Bio photo of Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...