Get Involved to Help Build a Better New England
By Steve Lyons | January 17, 2011
You don’t have to have children in school to be involved in your local school system. As a taxpayer it’s important for you to add to the discussion of how your money is being spent – and how it is affecting the next generation of New Englanders.
So, how’s your local elementary school doing in preparing New England students for middle school, high school, college – and life?
The Benefits of Getting Involved in Your Local Schools – Even if You’re an Empty Nester
Just because your kids are gone or you didn’t have any doesn’t mean you should forget about being involved in schools. By helping students have a better education you’re empowering yourself, your neighborhood, your town or city and adding value to your pocketbook.
In fact, better schools even have a direct link to home values, even in a down market. According to an article published in the Wall Street Journal (June 2010), while it’s supposed to be a buyer’s market, your chances of maintaining your home’s value is linked to the school district it is located in. When housing markets go south, “areas with exceptional schools tend to hold their value better than the market overall,” says Michael Sklarz, president of Collateral Analytics, a Honolulu-based firm that specializes in real estate data analysis.
In various parts the country, home prices have dropped in areas with good schools, but the declines are typically nowhere near the levels in their surrounding metro areas, the Washington Post reported. In the brainy town of Andover, MA, prices are down just 4%, versus more than 16% for the Boston metro division.
There are several factors at play, says Sklarz. Areas with good schools tend to be more affluent and were less susceptible to the sub-prime mortgage debacle so saw fewer foreclosures. What’s more, homes associated with great schools generally sell faster, in good markets and bad. Quite simply: there will always be parents of children looking for good educational opportunities for their children and are willing to pay a higher price for real estate there. And what’s more: just because the home is in a good school neighborhood doesn’t mean the taxes are higher. In fact, the inverse is often true. Look at New Haven, CT. Even though it’s home to Ivy League Yale University, the city suffers from high crime and inner-city poverty and schools that perform well below the national average. For an in-depth comparison click here.
Check out the top ten elementary schools for each New England state…
Don’t see your school in the slideshow above? Consider taking time to speak with your superintendent or local principals about how your local school(s) is doing – and most importantly, what you can do to help make a difference to the school and students. Not only will you be empowering the younger generations, but you’ll be adding to your quality of life, too.
Why focus on Elementary Schools?
Getting involved with any school at any grade level of the education system in your town can make a huge difference to students and you alike. But making a difference to young students can be easier, and the impact you make is something they will carry with them for years to come.
The analysis is based on the latest research provided by SchoolDigger.com, and reflect the findings for the 2009-2010 school year, except for Rhode Island where they reflect the 2008-2009 school year.