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A group of Santa Monica community leaders and leaders of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) asked RAND to summarize what existing policy studies had found about the impact of educational quality on a community. This briefing, presented to SMMUSD officials in February 2008, is a transcript of that summary. It provides an overview of empirical research on the effects that education has on a community, including the impacts that education has on health, crime, civic participation, and especially the economy, as educational quality is positively associated with employment and earnings, housing values, and tax revenues.

This work was cosponsored by the Office of the President of RAND and RAND Education. The research was conducted by RAND Education, a division of the RAND Corporation.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Documented briefing series. RAND documented briefings are based on research presented to a client, sponsor, or targeted audience in briefing format. Additional information is provided in the documented briefing in the form of the written narration accompanying the briefing charts. All RAND documented briefings undergo rigorous peer review to ensure that they meet high standards for research quality and objectivity. However, they are not expected to be comprehensive and may present preliminary findings. Major research findings are published in the monograph series; supporting or preliminary research is published in the technical report series.

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