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Charter Schools: Changing Property Values in Georgia Communities

Georgia State University researchers are finding that charter schools are having an impact on property values around their communities, potentially providing increased tax revenues for local communities.

Researchers dug through a vast amount of data from 2004 to 2013, covering 15 school districts and 52 start-up charter schools in Georgia.

They evaluated how home sales prices in Georgia varied among school attendance zones, as well as the variation in house values based on the distance from start-up charter schools.

They found that homes closer to these schools have higher property values, with the greatest impact being on homes within zones in Atlanta that give students living closest to the schools first priority to enroll over other students in the school district.

The report, commissioned by the State Charter Schools Commission, was authored by the university’s Center for State and Local Finance in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies.

The majority of the 52 schools examined are in large suburbs and cities, with 28 in metro Atlanta. Where it was appropriate, researchers also looked at the differences in house prices before and after the opening of a start-up charter school.

In the Atlanta region, Georgia State researchers made these findings:

  • In the city of Atlanta, which has experienced major growth and redevelopment, priority-zoned charter schools increased property values by 8.2 percent within a 0.3-mile radius, with the average home expected to sell for $11,846 more than the same home 0.3 – 0.6 miles away.
  • In the Atlanta suburbs, non-priority charter schools increased property values by 4.2 percent within a half-mile radius, with the average home expected to sell for $5,888 more than the same home a half mile to one mile away.

The research also indicates the older a start-up charter school is, the higher the property values of nearby homes in priority zones. While the research points to a high demand for homes near start-up charter schools, the researchers acknowledge there are benefits to the greater community in the form of an increased local tax base, which helps fund roads, public safety and other services.

Forthcoming research from the center will also look at the labor force outcomes for charter school students.

Interested in learning more? Download the report, “The Effect of Start-up Charter Schools on Nearby Property Values” at http://cslf.gsu.edu/download/effect-start-charter-schools-nearby-property-values/?wpdmdl=8429.

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