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Fort Wayne Community Schools Commissions Hanover to Investigate Economic Impact of Community Initiative

WASHINGTON, DC—Voters in a primary election in Allen County, Indiana on Tuesday approved a $119MM bond measure to improve facilities through Fort Wayne Community Schools (FWCS) Strong Schools’ Strong Community initiative. A recent report by Hanover Research shows that the total economic impact of the project will be a net benefit for the region.

Hanover traced the complete economic impact of project spending on the economy of Allen County. Based on a model of project expenditures over four years, the Strong Schools, Strong Community initiative would yield a total economic impact of $172 million on the local economy including business-to-business and household spending within the county. This was compared to an alternative scenario under which the $119 million in funding would instead remain with Allen County taxpayers; the economic impact of the alternative scenerio was estimated to be $159 million. By Hanover’s estimate, the Strong Schools, Strong Community initiative will yield a greater economic impact on the local economy – $13 million greater.

FWCS attempted to issue $500MM in bonds to support a similar building plan in 2007 and the measure was defeated soundly—unsurprising, as 3 out of 4 residents in the district do not have school-age children and the economic benefits of the initiative had not been assessed. This time the board broadened its focus to the greater economy and narrowed the project to renovate only the 36 buildings most in need of repair.

The demand-side economic impact assessment laid out in the study fell within the scope of Fort Wayne Community Schools’ annual membership with Hanover Research.

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Hanover Research, a membership-based organization, collaborates with over 100 local school districts, regional education agencies, and state departments of education across the U.S. The goal of Hanover is to provide additional research capacity to participating members at a fixed, annual cost. Areas of focus include: program evaluation; surveying, administration and analysis; interviews with issue experts; data analysis; competitive benchmarking; and literature reviews on both curricular and operational topics. Visit us at www.hanoverresearch.com or contact Sid Phillips, 202-559-0049, sphillips@hanoverresearch.com, to learn more.