And here we are in Ruidoso folks. Though we’ll probably never be afforded a detailed study to assess and review the direct valuation impact our schools have on our property values here, again, common sense tells us it’s only negative.
Recent grading of our Ruidoso Public Schools by the New Mexico Public Education Department can only be described as both dismal and discouraging. Our middle and high schools eked out C’s while our primary and elementary schools as well as our early childhood center flat out failed. And this while all we seem to read about are the issues with school board members and the superintendent. It’s not supposed to about the adults but rather about the kids and these same adults providing them the best education possible to our community’s children.
But let’s get back to real estate and property values. Imagine you’re the parents of school age children. And you’re evaluating job offers in Ruidoso and a community whose schools score much higher than ours. Quite simply, all else being near equal, there’s not much of a choice is there? So poor schools have clearly reduced demand for property in this hypothetical situation. And when demand for our housing declines, well, you know the rest.
There are several studies, discoverable online, which indicate homeowners would experience a reduction of 2 to 10 percent of the value of their home should standardized test scores drop by 10 percent in public schools. Specifically, the Rand Corporation, a big non-profit, research and analysis, think tank type kind of an organization, cites studies that have found that a 1 percent higher average reading or math score in Chicago and Massachusetts was associated with a 1 percent higher property value.
Strong schools make strong communities and strong communities have unequivocally higher property values. Of course, quality education is important for a host of other reasons besides just increasing the value of our personal financial statements. But with this said, higher real estate values increase our tax base which in turn provides higher funding limits to the same schools which can enhance or devalue the real estate. The complex and symbiotic relationship of the many sectors of a community is represented well with this direct link between the quality of schools and value of real property.
Let’s all remember that vibrant, well educated communities have a very tangible impact on economic health. So whether or not you have children yourself, our schools still impact your personal wealth and the overall quality of our community as good schools play a vital role in attracting and retaining a quality workforce.
Whether parents or retirees or a dedicated single, let’s all understand the economic impact of our school system and let’s plainly demand better.