Professor Saporito is the founder and Lead-Principal Investigator of the School Attendance Boundary Information System (SABINS). The SABINS data infrastructure project is the first, comprehensive effort to assemble, unify, and disseminate geographic data for elementary, middle, and high school catchment areas contained within thousands of school districts throughout the country. SABINS provides these school boundary files for use in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) through the NHGIS web application hosted at the Minnesota Population Center. These spatial files integrate data from the U.S. Census Bureau so that users know the population of children who live within each school’s attendance boundary. These data sources include the 2010 Census and the ongoing American Community Survey. Along with each boundary file, SABINS also provides school-level information from the U.S. Department of Education's Common Core of Data. Integrating school attendance boundaries with census tabulations and educational data enables researchers and policy-makers access to a wealth of information describing the characteristics of children and families who live within thousands of school attendance zones.
The project was funded by an initial grant of $1,000,000 from that National Science Foundation and has earned $500,000 in renewal funding from NSF through 2014. The U.S. Department of Education has provided over $218,000 in funding and Education.com has generously donated to the project. Most recently, the National Center for Education Statistics has adopted day-to-day operations of SABINS and has incorporated the collection of school attendance boundaries as part of its mission of providing comprehensive educational information to the public. NCES intends to assemble and disseminate SABINS data indefinitely with the long-term goal of collecting and distributing data for all school attendance boundaries in the U.S. In a few short years, SABINS is on the verge of becoming a permanent part of the Nation’s data infrastructure.