The Planners’ Role in Student Education Outcomes focus area relates to the responsibility of planners to be aware of how external factors in the built and social environment impact education outcomes for children and youth. This focus area aims to expand planners’ understanding of the inter-relatedness of student education outcomes to planning for land use, housing, transportation, and community development.  

Topics/Strategies: parent and youth engagement, collaboration, and professional practice and development.

The first paper for this focus area was prepared in May 2017: Planners' Role in Education Outcomes.

Planners' Role in Education Outcomes

The Collaboration, Governance, and School Choice focus area relates to how communities can build models of collaboration and governance between school districts, local governments, and community organizations to better address the complicated and inter-related issues children and youth face.

Topics/ Strategies: community schools, youth participation, inter-governmental collaboration (e.g., social service agencies, public health departments, transportation authorities), public-nonprofit partnerships, and joint use agreements.

The first paper for this focus area was completed in May 2018: Public Schools as Partners: Why Local Governments and School Districts Need to Collaborate.

The second paper for this focus area was completed in August 2018: School Choice Brief: Understanding School Choice and Its Planning Implications.

Collaboration, Governance, & School Choice

The Master Plan Education Element focus area addresses the need for communities to think and plan in a more holistic fashion about public education in comprehensive planning. It relates to how quality public education plays an integral role in community and economic development goals.

Topics/ Strategies: model education elements, youth and families, equitable development, healthy cities, green health, workforce development, quality neighborhood schools, and cradle to career strategies.

Master Plan Education Elements

The School Facility Planning focus area relates to the siting and development of new schools with a consideration to the social, economic, and environmental impact of the surrounding community and region, including transportation and neighborhood stability. It also includes best practices related to school closures and repurposing.

Topics/ Strategies: school siting, school closures, impact fees, public facilities ordinances, subdivision regulations, school transportation, and joint use opportunities.

School Facility Planning

The School Funding focus area relates to how school districts and local governments can address the fiscal realities of school programming and facility funding mechanisms.


Topics/ Strategies: programmatic funding, operations funding, facility funding, local bond measures, equity across districts, advocating for state and federal funding.

School Funding

The Schools and Neighborhoods focus area relates to the connection between public education and the economic vitality and sustainability of neighborhoods with an understanding that addressing racial and economic segregation is critical to improving schools and neighborhoods.

Topics/ Strategies: racial and economic segregation, school desegregation strategies, neighborhood revitalization, gentrification and displacement, schools as anchor institutions, and community development. 

Schools & Neighborhoods

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