In Carroll County, we know the school system is strong. A national study of the role schools play in real estate trends reveals that perhaps those outside of Carroll County know how good our schools are, too.
A study conducted by real estate site Trulia ranks at the top of the list, alongside Calvert County, as a "school district people flock to" in Maryland.
"A great school system is just as important to the economic health of any community as anything else you can name," Superintendent Stephen Guthrie told Patch. "When families have to relocate, the quality of the school is a major decision factor they use to help them determine where they will reside."
Did schools weigh in on your decision to move to Carroll County? Tell us in comments.
The study analyzed Census data that, according to Trulia, shows that 57 percent of households where the oldest child is between five and nine-years-old said they moved somewhere in the previous five years. Factors that families take into consideration when deciding where to move include affordability, more space, and good schools, according to the report.
To figure out which school districts are the “most attractive”–in the sense that they attract families with school-age kids—Trulia looked at 2010 Census numbers to determine the number of elementary school kids (ages 5 to 9) and the number of preschoolers (ages 0 to 4) living in every school district in the U.S.
This data allows Trulia to determine if families with children reaching school age are moving into or out of an area. The higher the ratio (of elementary aged kids to preschool aged kids), the more "attractive" the school district is, according to the study.
Carroll County and Calvert County both scored a 1.27, next on the list is Queen Anne's County with a score of 1.19. Howard County comes in third at 1.18.
Trulia's report suggests that attractive school districts are often accompanied by affordable housing and open space.
"In addition to good schools, attractive school districts tend to have two other things going for them as well: (1) housing affordability–that is, lower price per square foot, and (2) lower population density, which means bigger houses and more parks, yards or other outdoor spaces," Trulia chief economist Jed Kolko said in a blog post.
Guthrie noted that the importance of good schools has value beyond making children smart.
"Noted economist Anirban Basu ... even noted this fact in his presentation to the last March," Guthrie said. "At that meeting, he stated that the best investment local governments can make to protect their future is to maintain the best schools possible."
In Maryland, the report ranks Baltimore City schools at the bottom of the list with a .86 and Prince George's and Dorchester schools just above that with a .93.
"I know that our local government is in the process of reviewing local ordinances to spur growth," Guthrie said. "Keeping our school system a quality one must continue as part of that same effort.”
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