Post # 1
I see this on the housing board often – picking an area based on the school boundary.
Even if I were planning on having kids, this wouldn’t be a top priority because:
- Boundaries change based on population
- Boundaries change when new schools are built or old ones close
- The boundary doesn’t matter if the school is full (this is moreso when you move and kids are already school aged)
- Special programs don’t need to fit in the boundary
My high school went from being the largest in Western Canada, to being super small when a new high school opened.
When we had moved, I ended up in the 3rd overflow school, meaning 2 outside the boundary had accepted kids until they were full, and I was in the 3rd school to do so outside of my area’s boundary. I never attended a single school in my neighbourhood because they were full (and the high school opened too late).
With all the variables, I don’t see why the school district would be a priority. Do these things not really happen in the US?
Post # 3
@AB Bride: Some school districts are overall just better than others. There were 2 school districts where I am from; Countyname 1 and Countyname 2. There were some decent schools in countyname 1, but you were guaranteed a better education if you went to any of the schools in countyname 2 (where I went to school).
Post # 4
As far as I know, school districts are geographically-based, not population-based. If you live in town X, your child attends School District X, regardless of how many other students already attend that school. That’s how it is in my area. So if a particular school district is subpar in comparison to another one, it’s better for your child’s education to live in the area contained within the better school district.
Post # 5
The school boundaries don’t change in the Northeastern US, at least! They just up the class size. And some school districts are AMAZING, while the next district over might be HORRIBLE–so if you’re going to have young kids, it doesn’t make sense to buy in an area with crappy schools, especially if the town 5 miles over had INCREDIBLE schools!
Post # 6
Bella has probably hit the nail on the head the most. Sure, new school’s open etc, but not all school districts around here are even. If you want your kids to go to a certain district but don’t live in the boundary you have to apply for amnesty. The same districts that had more money and were more quality, are still the same better school districts today, than they were when I was in K-12. School districts can also be laid out strange here. Living close to a school doesn’t mean your kid actually goes there, the boundary can be right in front of your house and your kids will have to travel 10 miles to get to school.
Post # 7
districts change a little, but not enough to make a difference. I grew up in WNY and you better believe that the school district mattered! They do Business First rankings and everything. People around here are very serious about it and buy based on district
Post # 8
Around here your school is determined by your location, not the population. People have a huge fit whenever they try to change the boundaries even a tiny bit. The better schools tend to be in better neighborhoods overall as well.
Post # 9
- Wedding: June 2013 - Upstate NY
@AB Bride: I guess our populations just don’t change that much. I have never, ever heard of a school district re-districting (like political boundaries do sometimes). Only do the small elementary schools perhaps change every like 10-15 years but always within the same district.
For example, I teach in a district and for the past 9 years the population has only varied cyclically by a few dozen kids, out of 3,500!! If you live within the boundaries of District X your kids will ALWAYS attend District X. If you want them to go to a different public school district, you can actually pay tuition!
Here in the northeast, your elementary school usually is very close while the middle schools and high schools can be a little further.
Post # 10
Pretty much this what BrandNewBride said is all I know. School boundries dont change, ever. If you live in City/Town A, you go to City/Town A schools. If you live in City B, you go to their schools. It’s all based on the city you live in. You pay taxes to that city, you go to their schools. New schools aren’t normally built anymore as far as I know and population change isnt significant since there’s isnt much room to build that much new housing!
Post # 11
Even if a new school is opened in a school disrict, if it’s a good school district/is better funded, that new school will still be better.
New school districts/school district lines are not moved or created very often. I’ve never seen that happen first hand. Typically, school districts keep the same boundaries and just build more schools within them.
Post # 12
To echo other bees, school districts typically don’t change in the US based on population because their funding is directly tied to the town’s taxes. If you live in town Y, pay school taxes of town Y, your child will go to town Y schools. Sometimes certain towns, even if they’re right next to one another, will have very different quality school districts because the people in the town can vote on the school budget. Some towns, for example, could be designated NORCs (naturally occuring retirement communities), where school budget is not a priority for many of the residents and therefore the school district may suffer.
Post # 13
@AB Bride: It goes by township where I live. Depending on where you live, that’s the school district you’re assigned to. Now, looking at demographics, the lower class areas are typically undesirable when it comes to school districts. Families with school aged children would rather take a smaller house in a nicer area than a larger one in a scummy area just for the school district alone. My parents moved 2 minutes away, to the next town over, so I could go to a better high school.
Post # 14
Maybe we don’t even have districts here? I think I misunderstood the word. AFAIK (I’m not into the politics of it all) there isn’t something where multiple schools belong to one ‘district’. It’s all just boundaries for individual schools. They are based on geography, but most schools in growing area are super over-crowded, so the boundaries will be redrawn to bus more kids into a school in an older area. There are separate school boards, but it’s one catholic board and one public board for each city or fairly large rural area typically. People don’t usually choose what city to live in based on the schools! Recently, they were talking about moving the grade 6s to another school so the younger kids could get in and so many parents were upset.
Thanks for explaining how it is in the US!
Post # 15
I think the piece that you’re missing is that a lot of US towns are pretty small and close together. Our cities definitely sprawl a lot more so once you start looking in a different “district”/town, you’re looking at a 45min+ commute in rush hour. Whereas in the US, the districts/towns are close enough that it’s okay to live in one and work in another. I had a friend living in ohio and she lived in one town, worked in a second town, and her husband worked in a third one. And both of them had only a 15-20 minute commute.
I don’t know how districts would work in say Chicago, San Fran, or NYC and if those buyers also need to be as conscious of school district when buying.
Post # 16
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
In our state you get divided in 2 ways. The first is by county. Each county in the state has its own school system. Within the county there are school boundary lines that get adjusted on a regular cycle. Counties with rapid growth build more schools and re-district more frequently trhan counties with less growth. Many counties issue home construction moratoriums just so they can re-district and build new schools to keep up with demand.
Our county is constantly re-districting. You buy into the section of county based in large part on the school boundary lines. And trust me, home owners will fight like hell to protect those boundary lines. A shift from a school with a 10 to a school with an 8 rating can be a difference of $50k in property value. It is a very high stakes thing here. The ironic thing is that this is one of the top school systems in the entire country. Switching from a 10 to and 8 isn’t some sort of horrible thing. But here? Here it is the very worst thing in the world. People be cray cray. We purchased in west county. Because of zoning laws there will never be any sort of high density development allowed, which controls the need to redistrict out here and also protects our property values. There’s only one high school for this entire half of the county. And since we are at the far western edge of the county, there is literally no way we could ever be re-districted our of our schools. In other words, our property value and our kid’s top notch education are safe. 🙂