The loss is not just physical. The mass closings, which often see students moved to other buildings in a district, can affect home prices and businesses and often take an emotional toll on residents. "It's like losing the soul of the community," said Terry Ryan, vice president for Ohio Programs & Policy at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a center focused on education.
Further analysis of the data, writes Rich, found much of the Midwest's school loss came in three states: Michigan, Minnesota and Ohio. The schools that closed during the five years studied had served nearly 1.5 million students.