How many schools closed during the Great Depression?  

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It's estimated that over 20,000 schools across America, teaching 10 million children in all, closed their doors during the Great Depression. As one can imagination, this had a catastrophic effect on education in America, and it would be many years before the damage done was finally repaired.

Mass unemployment meant...

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It's estimated that over 20,000 schools across America, teaching 10 million children in all, closed their doors during the Great Depression. As one can imagination, this had a catastrophic effect on education in America, and it would be many years before the damage done was finally repaired.

Mass unemployment meant fewer people paying taxes, and with much less tax revenue available, state governments were unable to maintain many of the schools in their districts. Education was particularly hard hit in rural areas, as these bore the brunt of the Depression. To make matters worse, children tended to stay in education longer, as it was virtually impossible to find work, especially on farms. This placed an additional strain on an already overburdened system of education, making it inevitable that some schools would have to close.

Even those schools that remained open were beset with serious problems. Without enough money to go around, school buildings often fell into disrepair, with children forced to study in unsafe classrooms. As for teachers, they were faced with the extra burden of taking care of malnourished children, whose lack of a decent meals made it difficult for them to concentrate in class.

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The Great Depression impacted all aspects of American life.  Millions of workers lost their jobs.  This resulted in many people being unable to pay their property taxes.  The lack of property tax income caused schools all over the country to face budget shortfalls.  Schools in rural areas were hit the hardest.  In total, over 20,000 schools were forced to close due to lack of funds.  Most of these schools were in rural areas, and many were segregated schools for African American students.

Some states and school districts did everything in their power to keep schools from closing.  Many teachers saw their salaries cut, and some lost their jobs as more students were crammed into classrooms.  In some areas, cafeterias were closed and cafeteria workers were dismissed.  Extracurricular programs, such as sports, were also cut back.

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