Proximity to charter schools increases home values in Metro Atlanta

Proximity to charter schools increases home values in Metro Atlanta

The Andrew Young School Fiscal Research Center recently issued a report titled: Willing to Pay: Charter Schools’ Impact on Georgia Property Values by Carlianne Patrick

Comments below are from a public release of the report by the Georgia Charter Schools Association:

Happy Hispanic Family Portrait in Front of Beautiful House.

The report finds that over a 10-year period home sale prices were 7 to 13 percent higher in areas with the greatest chance of charter school enrollment.

Although there is extensive research on charter school achievement outcomes, relatively little is known about how the general public values these schools,” said Carlianne Patrick.

  • For elementary school neighborhoods: Homes sold for 9 to 13 percent more than similar homes in priority two zones.
  • For middle school neighborhoods: Homes sold for 8.5 to 10.5 percent more than similar homes in priority two zones.
  • For high school neighborhoods: Homes sold for 10 percent more than similar homes in priority two zones.

While this data points to a high demand for homes in neighborhoods with charter school enrollment priority zones, the report also helps refute notions that charter schools erode public schools. The increased home values mean increased tax revenue, which is a benefit for public school districts.

“The results suggest that homebuyers want to live in areas with access to charter schools and are willing to pay for it,” Patrick said. “It’s another way to value school choice, and it’s a win for advocates in Georgia, and across the nation.

From the study:


Table 3 indicates that single-family residences in priority one attendance zone sold for an average 7-8 percent more than similar houses located in priority two zones between 2004 and 2013. These results suggest that households value the choice, flexibility, and accountability that characterize charter schools.

Tables 4-6 present results by elementary grades, middle grades, and high school charters, respectively. Table 4 suggests a 9-13 percent premium for being located in a priority one zone for a charter serving elementary grades. Table 5 indicates a slightly lower willingness-to-pay for middle-grade charter priority zone one admission probabilities, with priority one zone single family residential transaction values 8.5- 10.5 percent higher than priority two zone values. Households pay an average of 10 percent more for similar houses in high school charter school priority one zones according to Table 6.

Convenient timing for APS to improve 26 schools at risk of the OSD

Convenient timing for APS to improve 26 schools at risk of the OSD

I just wrote about Glenn Delk’s response to APS Superintendent Meria Carstarphen’s blog about working to prevent her 26 schools eligible for the Governor’s Opportunity School District from being taken over.

Real motivation over APS hiring OSD policy creator

Carstarphen’s blog states:

People Watch- Meria Carstarphen_0I want everyone to understand that we are developing an aggressive and targeted course of action for school improvement. If we can achieve that, state intervention will be unnecessary. The Board and I share in the belief that that ensuring all students have access to quality education and maintaining local control of education is critical to the health and well-being of Atlanta. Further, we have an obligation to the students, parents and taxpayers of Atlanta to do everything in our power to ensure that our schools improve at a pace that allows them to avoid state takeover.

When I saw the number of APS schools on the potential OSD list, it was clear to me that we didn’t have a day to waste. There are currently 26 APS schools that meet the above criteria, and there a number of other APS schools which are at-risk of eligibility either because they have one or two years of CCRPI performance below 60 and/or they have historical CCRPI performance close to 60.

It just seems more politically motivated or a way to help the image of the district than helping the students. “When you saw the number of schools on the potential OSD list, it was clear you didn’t have a day to waste?”  What did you think about those schools for the first year on the job? What steps had you been taking to help these schools improve before the OSD legislation? Certainly the work needs to be done but, seems like convenient timing that feels more like adults are the focus than the kids.

Carstaphen continues:

We also launched yesterday the eight-week New School Turnaround Strategy Project guided by the Boston Consulting Group, a national group with a strong presence here in Atlanta. Thanks to the generosity of some funders, we have been able to take advantage of their unique expertise in education. This project will include a robust community engagement component that will consist of surveys, focus groups, town hall meetings, and a community advisory panel to help inform our approach.  I will also be collecting feedback from our teachers and principals, especially those who are “in the trenches” every day in some of our most challenging schools.  It is important to me that whatever strategy we develop does not happen “to” our communities or “to” the dedicated staff members who have been committed to some of our most at-risk schools for decades.  I want our key stakeholders at the table and engaged in this important decision-making process. Learn more about how you can help here.

I hope something productive comes of this research project. We are all still trying to figure out what happened with Michael Thurmond’s Bridge Initiative in DeKalb County……thankfully, I heard that Supt. Green won’t even let Thurmond back in the building! He did some good work, but clearly not enough. However, projects like this always look good and sound good but don’t always return actionable items that are followed through on. But all the consultants still get paid….

When I learned that she planned to leave the Governor’s Office at the end of the month, I could not delay. I knew she could be a key component in challenging us to do the tough and smart work as well as help us navigate the system to avoid the OSD. It won’t give APS an automatic pass, but I think it gives us the leverage of advice from an expert who understands the decisions surrounding the creation, mission and structure of the OSD.

Navigate the system to avoid OSD. I can’t believe she actually said “It won’t give APS an automatic pass.” That all sounds like the CCPRI scores will get to 61 so they can’t be included, but will that progress really continue? Or will it simply stall after OSD is no longer a threat?

Real motivation over APS hiring OSD policy creator

Real motivation over APS hiring OSD policy creator

This year legislation passed narrowly to put a constitutional amendment to the voters regarding the state being able to take over what they are labeling failing schools and run them with tax payer monies. AJC gives a quick review:

The proposed change to the constitution would allow the state to take over “failing” schools and close them, run them or convert them to independent charter schools. The schools would be part of a new statewide district for up to a decade. This new superintendent, selected by the governor and confirmed by the state Senate, would have authority to take local property tax revenue to fund both the schools and the opportunity district administration.

Other posts about the Opportunity School District:

Opposition to Gov Deal’s Opportunity School District wasn’t strong enough to prevent passage

GA follows LA & TN to an Opportunity School District

Stop vilifying pro-ed reform Democrats

GA AFT affiliate opposes OSD – big surprise!

The AJC reports that Atlanta Superintendent Meria Carstaphen has hired Governor Deal’s policy advisor who crafted the Opportunity School District legislation for the purpose of not allowing her 26 APS schools currently with CCPRI scores lower than 60 to become part of the OSD.

APS logoGlenn Delk, an Atlanta lawyer and long-time advocate for parental choice in education responds to Carstaphen’s attempt to avoid the OSD with education savings accounts. (He has written about these before). He writes:

She concluded her explanation with these telling comments…”Through all of these efforts and community engagement, we can find a path that ensures that all of our schools remain APS schools.  But that path can only be defined by child-centric agendas and not adult-focused ones…”If she and the Board of Education truly put the interests of children ahead of adults, instead of hiring high-priced consultants to “…help us navigate the system to avoid the OSD…”,they would vote to allow APS students to use education savings accounts to choose the school which best fit their needs. The time has come for the Board of Education and its superintendent to stop trying to avoid a state takeover, and instead fulfill what Gov. Deal has called a moral duty to help students trapped in failing schools.

Education savings account sounds like the word “voucher” if you ask me. Also sounds like privatizing social security into personal accounts. Just making an observation that it appears school voucher advocates have re-branded away from the negative connotation of the word “voucher.”

He continues to make the point that APS has had the opportunity to educate these children and haven’t been successful especially for children in poverty or low socioeconomic status.

It’s been five years since the cheating scandal first surfaced.  In those five years, the Atlanta Board of Education has spent more than $3.5 billion in taxpayers’ funds to pay for a school system which has, according to the state’s 2014 CCRPI rankings, 31 elementary, 12 middle and 13 high schools, or over 50 percent ranked D or F.

However, those results don’t begin to show the depth of the problem, given Georgia’s low academic standards compared to the national NAEP results.  Keep in mind that Georgia ranks either dead last, or next to last, when comparing our standards to other states, using the National Assessment of Educational Progress results as the benchmark.

According to the 2013 NAEP results, 88 percent of black 8th grade students in APS are not proficient in math, and 84 percent are not proficient in reading.

Another indicator of the lack of acceptable academic achievement by both APS students, as well as statewide, is the recent report by the ACT that only 11 percent of Georgia high school graduates who qualify for free and reduced lunch met college readiness benchmarks on the four major subjects.

Since over 76 percent of APS students are low-income, APS is clearly not meeting Gov. Deal’s goal of having at least 60 percent of entering 9th grade students ultimately receive a two or four-year college degree.

Delk sees Carstaphen’s action as trying to circumvent the PSD process for the protection of her district, image, and to protect teacher’s jobs – but NOT with the primary objective being student’s education. I mean really – they have had all this time and why now? Because the state has threaten to take some of your schools away? You shouldn’t have needed the Governor to tell you that these schools needed help.

Delk makes the claim that all over the country students are being  segregating students by wealth, income or zip code, which is unconstitutional. Parents deserve school choice and those who can’t afford choices should be able to use the money allocated for their child for a school of their choice that fits their needs.

Atlanta is a microcosm of the state and the country when it comes to the issue of giving low-income minority families the same rights and financial means as wealthier families, to choose the best school for their child.  Those residents with the money to do so have bought a house in the right zip codes where their children can attend Buckhead or Midtown schools such as Jackson or Morris Brandon, where less than 10 percent of the students qualify for free and reduced lunch, or pay $25,000 or more in after-tax income to attend Lovett, Westminster, etc.

While these parents can exercise school choice, the low-income families, who are overwhelmingly black, whose children attend one of the 68 APS schools where the free and reduced lunch percentage is 98 percent or more, have no such choice.

Does Carstaphen really have the best interests of students at heart? or is it district image, her own success, pride and jobs for adults?