Evaluate the Local Schools
Most families believe the quality of a community's schools is its greatest asset or biggest fault. Even parents of newborns or yet-to-be borns must evaluate school systems. It is only five short years until that baby is ready for formal education.
Most state departments of education publish valuable information on each of its school systems, including average teachers' salaries, per-pupil expenditures, results from basic skills testing, drop-out rates, and number of students going on to college.
Schedule an appointment with the superintendent of schools or one of the school principals for more information. Questions to ask should include these:
- What is the current enrollment of the school system?
- What is the projected enrollment over the next few years?
- How many homeowners have children in the school system compared with those who do not? This is an important consideration when it comes to voting on local legislation involving the schools.
- How many elementary schools funnel into how many middle and high schools?
- Do the schools offer enrichment programs?
- Does the school provide an after-school childcare program or is one available nearby?
- Are there long-range plans for school expansion?