Evaluating the Locational Attributes of Education Management Organizations (EMOs)


This study uses logistic and multinomial logistic regression models to analyze neighborhood factors affecting EMO(Education Management Organization)-operated schools’ locational attributes (using census tracts) in 41 states for the 2014–2015 school year. Our research combines market-based school reform, institutional theory, and resource dependency to explore one important issue regarding EMO location: What are the factors associated with the presence of varied types and sizes of EMOs in neighborhoods? To our knowledge, this is the first multistate study of neighborhood characteristics associated with the location of EMO-operated schools. The results show that the locational patterns of EMO-operated schools are sensitive to high minority areas, as expected, but also to socioeconomic characteristics of the neighborhood. Our findings also suggest that larger EMOs tend to gravitate to areas where they can mobilize resources. For those concerned about spatial efficiency-equity trade-offs in EMO location policies, our results suggest a need for close monitoring of the distributive patterns of EMO expansion across neighborhoods, racial/ethnic and income groups, and the net effect of EMO location on neighborhood attributes.

Publication Title

Journal of School Choice