Home-School Families & Why Public Schools Matter
Life changes. A job opportunity beckons, or you need to move closer to your aging parents. Whatever the reason, a buying a new home is the first order of business. Like any family, yours has certain needs and preferences regarding square footage, design and what amenities are included.
Location, of course, is always a prime consideration. A safe, clean neighborhood is essential, as is convenient access to retailers, libraries, and playgrounds. And good schools too. Homeschoolers, take note: Hard as it may be to believe, you too have a stake in a reputable and productive public school system.
On the face of it, that might sound absurd. After all, good schools generally come at a higher price to rental property’s owners due to taxes and other special assessments. Should real estate taxes dictate an area with mediocre schools? Granted, public levies take a bite out of the household budget and cash flow.
At the same time, the institutions they underwrite continue to attract all kinds of families, the majority of which will enroll their kids there. Although the day may be far off, when selling a home it’s important to use a Realtor in an excellent school district, to help owners reap the financial reward from eager buyers.
When the children play with neighbor kids, they will interact with others whose test scores average 33 percent higher than those in average or below-average schools. Iron sharpens iron, and such socialization is positive for young people who are primarily educated in the home.
True, there are smart kids out there with bad character. All the same, successful students — in general — make superior friends and serve as better examples. There are other ways high-performing schools benefit neighborhoods, too. They attract business and commerce to town. These enterprises shoulder more of the tax burden. Meanwhile, the schools often function as community centers, creating greater cohesiveness among residents.
In many places, strong school districts allow home-schooled youth to participate in extra-curricular activities like sports and music. This is always a controversial topic: on the one hand, the parents are paying to fund the schools; on the other, the children are not fully invested in the life of the institution.
Different school boards arrive at differing conclusions but many are amenable to receiving local home-schoolers into their programs. Understandably, parents want those options to be of premium quality. Well-regarded schools usually field equally esteemed artistic activities and athletic organizations.
The bottom line is that where schools excel, so also does the quality of life. Police presence, public works, community spirit, and local aesthetics reflect the excellence found in a municipality’s institutions of learning. A town or village is cleaner, safer and happier where public schools consistently perform at a superior level.
Important to remember is that students schooled at home do not receive their education in a vacuum. Their learning is inextricably tied to the larger world. If that world combines a secure environment with healthy competition, the future bodes well. Good schools are indicators of such promise.