We are often asked by prospective home buyers the question, “How are the schools in this neighborhood, or district?” The perception of good or bad schools can play a significant role for a family with school aged children. The question of real estate value applies to everyone. One may not have kids, but make no mistake, a bad or good school label could affect real estate values.
     The short answer is that there is no short answer. This article is not meant to be an end all discussion of how to locate the right school for your kids, but to evoke some thought on the subject.
     If you’re considering a particular state to relocate to based on schools, you would find out that Arizona does not have a stellar education reputation. You would discover that it spends far less money per student than most states in our public schools. If you were to dig deeper, however, you would also discover that Arizona happens to be home to some of the best schools in the country – that’s right, the USA. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranked 3 Arizona Basis Charter schools in the top ten national  (usnews.com Article) .  Basis wasfounded in Tucson in 1998 by Michael Block, Ph.D. and Olga Block, Ph.D. They decided to open a school that would educate students at an internationally competitive level. For more information on charter schools, check out:  http://www.azed.gov/charter-schools/
     Upon further examination you would find that there are excellent public schools interspersed throughout our communities. I recommend folks check out http://www.GreatSchools.org which supplies an amazing amount of school information including test scores, per student financial expenditures, school report cards, and parent comments. One note of caution however, when comparing test scores, understand that MANY of our under performing schools are in areas where there is a large non-English speaking child population, but for some of those schools, there was definite and measured student score improvement as they moved up in grade levels. I would have to say those schools were a success. You may want to check out this link:  http://www.greatschools.org/gk/videos/school-test-scores-video/ regarding school test scores.
     The problem that out of area prospective buyers have is where do they begin? Well again, I’d start with:  http://www.GreatSchools.org. From there, you can then do further research and even visit the schools you’re considering. Engage in school chat rooms too. Talk to teachers. It takes time to research, I know. But what better investment can you think of?