ANALYZING THE IMPACT OF NYC HIGH SCHOOL ADMISSIONS POLICY ON SCHOOL FUNDRAISING
New York City implemented an open enrollment policy for high school admissions in 2004, allowing schools to set their own admissions policies and students to apply to schools outside their geographic zone—leading to an increase in admissions screenings based on factors such as student attendance and past academic performance. The Capstone team explored the impact of this policy on public school fundraising, hypothesizing that families seek out “opportunity hoarding” within screened schools. The team examined fundraising by school-supporting organizations as one measure of opportunity hoarding, constructed an original dataset linking publicly available tax records to school-level data to identify the change in per-pupil fundraising by school, and conducted a difference-in-difference analysis comparing the NYC school system to zoned districts within Long Island’s Nassau County. While the team found that overall fundraising increased after the 2004 policy change, the small sample of available data limits the statistical significance of the findings. The final report presents a model for linking fundraising data to individual schools and suggestions for improving data availability.