K-12 schools: the effect of public school choices on Marine families' co-location decisions
Velding, Tamara J.
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This thesis examines geographic bachelorhood among Marines assigned to various bases and the role of school quality on the decision to pursue geographic bachelorhood. In particular, it estimates the effect of having school-age children on the probability of geographic bachelorhood when Marines are assigned to Jacksonville, North Carolina; Albany, Georgia; Twentynine Palms, California; and Hawaii—areas perceived as having under-performing K-12 schools. The thesis further analyzes the effects of having school-age children on whether Marines establish households within the school district boundaries of these locations. Employing logit regression analysis and using data from the Total Forces Data Warehouse, I find that Marines with school-age children exhibit higher odds of choosing to be geographic bachelors in all locations studied; however, Marines with school-age children assigned to Albany exhibit the greatest odds of choosing geographic bachelorhood. These findings hold even controlling for demographic characteristics such as years of service and ethnicity. There is also variation in the likelihood of geographic bachelorhood by school age–specific factors; having secondary school-age children is most highly associated with geographic bachelorhood relative to primary and middle school–age children. I recommend conducting similar analyses with additional variables gathered through surveys, as well as within-state comparisons for each location and analyses that include other bases for comparison.
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