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Living near good schools will cost an extra $200K

April 19, 2012: 9:15 AM ET
Home values are $205,000 higher, on average, in neighborhoods with high-scoring public schools.

Good schools don't come cheap.

Want to live in a good school district? It'll cost you an extra $200k.

Home values are $205,000 higher, on average, in neighborhoods with high-scoring public schools versus schools with low scores, according to a new report issued by the Brookings Institution.

Homes in high-scoring neighborhoods typically have 1.5 additional rooms, and 30% fewer are rented, the study found. Housing costs average $11,000 more per year in areas with better schools.

Some of the areas with largest differences in housing costs also have the widest gaps in school test scores. The Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk metro area in Connecticut, for instance, has both the widest gap in test scores between higher-income and lower-income neighborhood schools and the largest difference in housing costs, at $25,000.

Not surprisingly, income has an impact on test scores. The average low-income student attends a school that scores at the 42nd percentile on state exams, while the average middle/high-income student goes to schools that score at the 61st percentile.

Poor students have become more concentrated in schools with other poor students since 1998, Brookings found. The average low-income student attends a school where 64% of fellow students are low-income, though they represent only 48% of all U.S. public school students. The percentage of economically integrated schools is less than 7%.

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