Provo has the fourth lowest levels of economic segregation in the U.S., which translates into smaller gaps in elementary school test scores between low- and high-income students, according to a study from the Brookings Institute Metropolitan Policy Program, an organization working to provide economic and demographic research on metropolitan areas.
Salt Lake and Ogden-Clearfield are also among the 10 U.S. metropolitan areas where housing costs near high-scoring schools is not much different than property near low-scoring ones, which contributes to low elementary test-score gaps, according to the study.
Housing in the Provo-Orem area is 1.4 times more expensive near high-performing schools rather than low-performing alternatives compared to the national average of 2.2 times more. That means a low-income family in Provo would have to pay $4,921 more to move closer to a high-scoring school.
This low gap has resulted in only a 14.1 percentile point spread in state-mandated test scores between low-income, which is defined as those who qualify for reduced lunch, and middle/high-income students. That’s lower than the national average of 26 percentage points between low income and high-income students.
The Provo-Orem metro area had the lowest housing-cost gap in the state, and the third lowest in the country, according to the Brookings report. Deseret News