Date of Award

Spring 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Public Policy

First Advisor

Catherine Fallona, PhD

Second Advisor

Lisa Morris, PhD

Third Advisor

Andrew Dolloff, PhD


The purpose of this case study research was to examine the economic impact of school closures on three rural communities in Maine. I created a conceptual framework around six healthy community economic markers. Each of the six markers are studied in 2010 when schools were closed and then again in 2016. This data, in addition to perceptions data from stakeholders in each of the three communities was studied to determine if the closure of the school had any impact on these healthy economic markers. Findings suggest that there were no negative impact to the economic markers studied within the three sample communities that could be attributed solely to the closure of the school. The research did uncover that even though schools were closed to save money and reduce taxes, the fact of the matter is that in two of the three communities studied this cost savings never occurred, nor did a reduction in taxes. Further research is needed to build off this study in order to better inform state and local policy makers who are having to consider whether or not to close schools now and in the future.



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