Redrawing School Attendance Boundaries in Pittsburgh

University Center for Social and Urban Research   (Pittsburgh)

June 2011 to April 2012

Confronted by declining enrollment and decreased revenues, the Pittsburgh Public Schools has proposed to close seven buildings, effective in the 2012-13 school year. Decades of assigning students to schools based on street ranges (and not maps) resulted in irregular and unwieldy attendance boundary geographies. Using data and expertise from the Pittsburgh Neighborhood and Community Information System (PNCIS), school attendance boundaries were redrawn in the fall of 2011. Public, private, and charter school student enrollment and neighborhood demographic data was used to inform the redistricting process.

As a result of this collaborative project between the School District and the University Center for Social and Urban Research (UCSUR), new boundaries have been proposed that are more compact and consistent across grade levels, are more closely aligned with arterial roads and neighborhood boundaries and will help to balance enrollment among schools.