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Choosing Charter Schools in North Carolina: What Do Parents Value?
This paper examines what parents value as they make choices among available charter schools, with primary attention to the racial mix of a school’s students. We estimate conditional logit models of the charter school choices made by all parents in North Carolina who switched their child from a traditional public school to a charter school in 2014/15. Our findings that parents care about the school’s racial mix of students and that such preferences differ by the race and income of the choosers highlight the pressures that lead charter schools to be racially imbalanced. Our models also include other factors that parents may value such as the distance to the charter, the school’s academic performance, the services provided by the charter, such as subsidized lunch and transportation, and the school’s mission and approach.
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