Omura, J.D., Carlson, S.A., Paul, P., Sliwa, S., Onufrak, S.J., & Fulton, J.E. (2017). Shared Use Agreements Between Municipalities and Public Schools in the United States, 2014. Prev Med. 95(Suppl), S53-S59.
Shared use agreements allow public use of school facilities during non-school hours. Such agreements can cover outdoor facilities alone or may be more comprehensive by also including indoor facilities. Our aim was to: 1) estimate the prevalence of shared use agreements and facility types covered among U.S. municipalities and 2) identify differences in prevalence by municipality characteristics. The 2014 National Survey of Community-based Policy and Environmental Supports for Healthy Eating and Active Living is a representative survey of US municipalities (n = 2029). Data were analyzed using survey weights to create national estimates. Logistic and multinomial regression models determined odds ratios adjusting for municipality characteristics. Among 1930 municipalities with a school, 41.6% had a shared use agreement as reported by a local official, 45.6% did not, and 12.8% did not know. Significant differences in prevalence existed by population size, rural/urban status, poverty prevalence, median education level, and census region; however, after adjustment for other municipality characteristics significant differences remained only by population size, median education level, and census region. Among municipalities with a shared use agreement, 59.6% covered both outdoor and indoor facilities, 5.5% covered indoor facilities only, and 34.9% covered outdoor facilities only. Opportunities exist to expand the use of shared use agreements particularly in municipalities with small populations, lower education levels, and in the South, and to promote more comprehensive shared use agreements that include both indoor and outdoor facilities.