Professor Eric Brunner Studies Wind Farms & Student Absenteeism

In 2022, School of Public Policy (SPP) Professor Eric Brunner studied the impact of wind energy on local economies. His research lead to “Commercial Wind Energy Installations and Local Economic Development:  Evidence from U.S. Counties“, which was published in Energy Policy alongside co-author and SPP alum  David Schwegman.

Eric BrunnerAt the start of 2023 he was featured by Stateline for a discussion on wind farms in rural America. In the piece, entitled “Wind Farms Deliver Economic Jolt to Rural Middle America,” Eric noted:

  • Counties typically utilize payments on expenditures focused on infrastructure
  • Counties have more of an incentive for one-time capital costs over reoccurring costs (ex. buying books) because they make it easier to borrow money while also allowing for a deferment of tax payments

In 2023, the Center for Connecticut Education Research Collaboration (CCERC) published a report on the Learner Engagement and Attendance Program (LEAP) and a remote learning audit. LEAP connected families and students with home visitors who could assist with school attendance, placement in summer, after school and learning programs.

Eric assisted with the analysis of LEAP, which was leveraged across 15 Connecticut school districts in order to address chronic absenteeism. He spoke with the Collaborative for Student Success about how the program increased attendance by 15%. The program currently exists in 14 Connecticut districts, and continues to be featured in national publications, which are included on LEAP’s website