Schools & Property Values

Richard Green:

ne 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–