For years, it’s been widely understood that housing in good school districts is more expensive than others. A new study by the Brookings Institution (h/t Wonkblog) shows exactly how much: houses in high-performing school districts cost a whopping $205,000 more on average than their counterparts in low-performing areas—nearly 2.5 times more, in many cases.
The big-box school model is more broken than most people realize. Studies like this are just another sign of how that model is failing in its core mission of making a decent education available to everyone regardless of wealth. Those who can afford to live in upscale neighborhoods have access to good schools; the rest are forced into overcrowded and dysfunctional school systems that don’t impart to students the skills they will need as adults.
Hence the strong case for school vouchers. Vouchers can make for a more just, equal society, because they allow parents who care about education but don’t have a lot of money to do more to make sure their children get the best schooling available.
It is deeply undemocratic and elitist to support the current educational system.