Environmental justice and green schools—Assessing students and communities’ access to green schools

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Department of Social Sciences


We investigate equity in the distribution of green schools, what kind of student populations they serve, and what kinds of communities host them. Methods. Leveraging national school enrollment data (2000–2014), Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design data, and communities’ characteristics data from 2010 U.S. Census, we estimate logit models to examine the association between green schools and student and community demographics. Results. Higher percentages of minorities in both student population and hosting neighborhood are associated with greater likelihood that new schools are green. New schools in more affluent and less educated communities are less likely to be green. Conclusion. There is a lack of evidence for environmental in-justice in students’ and communities’ access to new green schools in the United States. New schools serving lower-income and minority families and children are more likely to be green, although environmental justice indicators such as education show somewhat “unjust” patterns.

Publisher's Statement

©2019 by the Southwestern Social Science Association. Publisher’s version of record: https://doi.org/10.1111/ssqu.12715

Publication Title

Social Science Quarterly