On June 17, 2009 the Seattle School Board approved a new student assignment plan. Then on November 18, 2009 the School Board adopted new boundaries and a transition plan for the 2010-11 school year. The change came about, in large part, because of huge budget shortfalls in the Seattle School district but also (according to the school district website) this plan is hoped to “provide greater predictability for families while still offering opportunities for school choice.” Those in favor of this shift like returning to the idea of neighborhood schools and minimizing the need for mass transit to get kids to school. Those who oppose fear that the disparity between schools will increase and quality education for all children will be further jeopardized.
Since the new student assignment plan was approved and the school boundaries were drawn, a new layer has been added to the real estate market. More than ever, we are seeing “micro-markets” in certain school boundaries, both to the advantage and disadvantage of our clients selling their homes. We are also working with many clients who are feeling the need to move before they are ready in order to keep siblings together in the same school, and some are opting to stay put longer for this same reason. There are clearly immediate challenges that we are working through and still wonder, every day, how this change effects the long term real estate picture as well as the health of our public schools.
For those of you who don’t know, click here to find out what school boundary your home falls into:
We think it’s worth mentioning one positive opportunity that is available when students live close to their school: The Walking School Bus. This was created as an alternative to busing, and is starting to gain traction around the country.
If you would like to discuss this topic in more detail, feel free to call us anytime!
Windermere Real Estate