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Joint Use Agreements

A total of 61.6% of school districts had a formal JUA at the federal level. These agreements have been more common in urban areas, large school districts and the west. Among districts with a JUA, more than 80% agreed to use indoor and outdoor recreation facilities, but other uses also included child care or follow-up services for school-age children (67.0%), adult education (49.3%), child care (41.1%), library services (23.9%) and health services (21.0%). Because these agreements use existing facilities, they are generally a less costly way to expand programs and services (Cooper 2008). In a Study based in North Carolina, sharing agreements did not result in a significant increase in school operating costs, although maintenance and repair of facilities are higher over time due to increased use (Kanters 2014). In Los Angeles, school district sharing agreements were accounted for small increases in spending and very low unexpected costs (FSUW-Shared Use 2014). Common barriers to sharing agreements include liability concerns, additional maintenance, insurance and personnel costs, and issues that prioritize use (Stasi 2019, Turner 2018); The establishment of formal partnership agreements with sharing can help to allay these concerns (Chace 2015), although it is easier to manage informal or open use agreements, especially for community partners with limited resources (Stein 2015a). Faith-based organizations across the country also use shared use agreements to expand access to their recreational facilities and programs, as in North Carolina (ChangeLab-Congregation Use Shared Use 2014). Many cities, counties and states use sharing agreements to expand access to physical activity sites, including New York City; Seattle (joint use of SRTSNP); Lake Worth, Greenacres and Palm Springs, Florida (ALBD-FL Joint Use); Fairfax County, Virginia, CDC-JUA-Spotlight VA; Hamilton County, Ohio (WeThrive-Community Wellness); Pitt County, North Carolina (ALBD-Pitt County) and California (SRTSNP-Joint Use).

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) have a shared use agreement and, as part of their agreement, AYSO recruits participants in the LAUSD participation area and offers scholarships to students who are not short of economic resources (FSUW-Shared use 2014). One study suggests that formal sharing agreements are more common in large school districts, urban areas and in the west than in the Midwest, South and Northeast (Everett Jones 2015). As a result of dwindling financial resources and increased costs and land development, local school partnerships for school sharing have received increasing attention.

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