Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Schools and Property Values

One of my good GW friends, knowing that my daughters had just finished navigating the college admissions process, lent me her copy of Acceptance, a novel about crazed parents and their slightly less crazed children going through the college application process in a fictitious Maryland county that just happens to contain the National Institutes for Health. The novel is quite funny, and one passage stood out:

Her public school might as well have been a private school, and in a way, it was. There was no tuition, per se, but irrational real estate prices served to filter out most of the rabble and ;end it a somewhat exclusive air, or so she'd heard her mother say.

This paragraph summarizes why I support school choice. Affluent people have school choice--they can pay for private school, or they can move to places with excellent public schools (whose excellence is capitalized into land prices). Meanwhile, kids of poor families are stuck in dysfunctional school districts with no place to go. Just spending money on these schools doesn't seem to solve the problem--DC has among the highest expenditures per pupil of any school district in the country, yet by any reasonable measure, their performance, particularly at the high school level, is dreadful. Kids in DC should be allowed to attend schools in Montgomery and Fairfax Counties.


Anonymous said...

because DC traffic isn't bad enough...

It seems like school choice among public schools could only work within a single jurisdiction. why would people pay taxes to educate kids whose own parents aren't paying taxes for that education? this could mean making a cross-border school district, I guess.

Or we can just go to a private school system with vouchers.

Anonymous said...

Parents should pay to have their own children educated, or home school. Costs get out of control when customers don't pay for a product, and quality control is lousy despite the high cost.

Anonymous said...

don't you get labeled an elitist if you go to a good school in this country?

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