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The Positive Influence of School Choice Programs on Real Estate Values and Development



If Alabama enacts the school choice program pending in the legislature, it will join the ranks of the 32 states with similar initiatives.  School choice is an integral part of America’s education system, but does it impact property values, real estate development, and economic growth? Yes. 


Real Estate Values

Studies show that regions with school choice programs achieve greater economic expansion and a rise in property values compared to areas lacking such options. Areas with no income restrictions on school choice program participation tend to attract more economic growth than their state counterparts. With the flexibility to live anywhere, parents who work from home tendto relocate to areas with expanded educational opportunities. This increases the demand for real estate in those areas.


Real Estate Development

School choice breaks the link between a child's housing and education, providing access to quality schools regardless of a family's ability to purchase an expensive home. When parents are not restricted to schools within city or county lines, real estate development can tap into previously looked over parcels of land for development. Consider affluent suburbs boasting top-performing schools adjacent to urban centers with struggling schools. The unrealized development potential for the latter is significant. These areas, though geographically close, were often bypassed based solely on schools.  


Business and Economic Growth

Businesses are recognizing the importance of education in attracting and retaining employees. Consider this: when deciding on a new location for their headquarters, would companies prefer a state that offers school choice or one that sticks with the status quo? Moreover, states providing open enrollment programs, which allow children to attend any public school within a certain area regardless of the family's home address, gain a competitive edge against those who do not.  The signals are clear: states clinging to the traditional educational model are at a disadvantage, as employers prefer locations offering their workforce a variety of educational options and flexibility. 


Conclusion

Evidence indicates that these innovative educational options have positively affected real estate development, property values, and economic expansion. By providing families with educational choices, states can significantly influence their decisions on where to live.

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