Staying in the Neighborhood: Examining Distance to Zoned Schools and Access to Transportation

Transportation Equity

Photo by Jeswin Thomas on Unsplash

This brief examines how students' living distance from their zoned school and access to district-provided school transportation impact enrollment decisions.

Under the Houston Independent School District's current busing policy, students are eligible for transportation services to and from their zoned school if they reside two or more miles from that school. This brief examines how a student's proximity to their zoned school and access to district-funded transportation impact enrollment decisions.

Key findings:

  • The average distance between an elementary school student’s home and their zoned school was 1.1 miles. This average distance increased to 2 miles for middle school students and 2.3 miles for high school students.
  • Students who lived within 2 miles of their zoned school were more likely to enroll in that school. The chances of enrolling in a zoned school were 76% for elementary school students, 66% for middle school students, and 68% for high school students.
  • Of students living within 2 miles of their zoned school, except for Black students, differences between those enrolled and those who did not existed across economic disadvantage, English learner status, and race/ethnicity.
The Equity Project

This comprehensive study of educational equity throughout Houston ISD focuses on understanding whether historically marginalized student populations in the district have the resources they need to be successful in the classroom and beyond.

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Houston, TX 77005-1892

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