Is Being in the Best School District Really the Best for Our Kids?

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Our home is located exactly one mile between two different schools. Although both schools are within two miles of each other, they could not be more different, but both are great schools. One school is considered a Title One school and the other is not. Title One, indicates that a certain percentage of a school’s population is of low income status and in need of financial assistance.

For our daughter’s first year of school, we were districted for the Title One school. Although we had heard great things about the school from neighbors, we were conflicted with the choice to send our daughter to our assigned school because of the classification it carried. We quickly determined that private school was not within our budget, and a birth of another child ruled out homeschooling. Despite the fear of the unknown, we found the school to be an excellent option for our daughter and many other children no matter the parent’s income.

Due to redistricting beyond our control, we are now a part of the school that is considered one of the best in the area, and it is not in the Title One program. There is no shortage of parent volunteers, and fundraising for extra needs is no issue.

Because of a recent seller’s market in our area, we have considered selling our home to capitalize on the equity gains we would likely experience in hopes of having a lesser mortgage with the next home. In the process of searching for a home, we have ventured into areas with average school districts discussing that it would go against the norm to move out of a top rated school. Is it necessarily a bad thing to go against the norm?

Because we had a good experience at our first school, we realize ratings and classifications do not always affect the ability of a school to provide a great education for children. My husband and I both grew up in rural areas with very few school options besides the single public school system available, and neither of us remember our parents fretting over the ratings of our school. We both graduated with a great education and have proven to be successful as adults.

If more families moved to districts with lower ratings, could we see some of the ratings increase within those schools and create more of a balance? If this occurred, schools could experience an increase in parent volunteers and assist the schools efforts to educate the children of our future.

When home values are expensive in prime school districts, are we creating segregated schools of income status when only limited people are able to move into the desired district? I personally do not want my kids exposed to only wealthy kids as we will not be able to afford many of the things our kids will see other students experience and possess.

Is it not better for our kids to be around other kids from various backgrounds for an education of what they might experience in the real world? Raising future leaders who have no knowledge or understanding of how other people struggle to live will continue to create a divide in our society.

Writer Bio: Summer Bolte

I spend most of my time and days with my three kids, husband and dog. My kids frequently play near me as I garden, cook, DIY and volunteer. My most unusual paying job has to be feeding fruit flies in a research lab, and my most fulfilling job was being an oncology nurse for seven years.  

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