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Characteristics of Joint Use Agreements in School Districts in the United States: Findings From the School Health Policies and Practices Study, 2012
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  • Description:
    Introduction

    Joint use or shared use of public school facilities provides community access to facilities for varied purposes. We examined a nationally representative sample of school districts in the United States to identify characteristics associated with having a formal joint use agreement (JUA) and with the kinds of uses to which JUAs apply.

    Methods

    We analyzed data from the 2012 School Health Policies and Practices Study. The response rate for the module containing questions about formal JUAs was 60.1% (N = 630). We used multivariate logistic regression models to examine the adjusted odds of having a formal JUA and χ2 analyses to examine differences in district characteristics associated with the uses of the JUA.

    Results

    Among the 61.6% of school districts with a formal JUA, more than 80% had an agreement for the use of indoor and outdoor recreation facilities; other uses also were identified. JUAs were more common in urban than rural areas, in large than small school districts, and in the West compared with the Midwest, South, and Northeast.

    Conclusion

    In many districts, school facilities appear to be an untapped resource for community members. Formal JUAs provide an opportunity for shared use while addressing issues of liability, cost, and logistics.

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