Study Finds Start-up Charter Schools in Large Metropolitan Area Boost Home Values

May 17, 2017

ATLANTA – Homes closer to start-up charters schools in Georgia experience higher property values than those farther away, the greatest impact being for homes located within priority attendance zones in Atlanta, according to a new study by Georgia State University’s Center for State and Local Finance. The report, commissioned by the State Charter Schools Commission, examines home sales from 2004 – 2013, covering 15 school districts and 52 start-up charter schools in Georgia.

“We have long known that homeowners value quality public school options for the children in their communities,” said Bonnie Holliday, executive director of the State Charter Schools Commission. “This research validates the positive impact that a start-up charter school has on its neighborhood through bolstered property sales and increased tax revenue.”

Researchers analyzed the variation in sales prices of houses in different attendance zones, as well as the variation in house values based on the distance from the charter schools. Where appropriate, the researchers also analyzed the differences in house prices before and after the opening of a start-up charter school. The majority of the 52 schools examined are located in large suburbs and cities, with 28 located in metro Atlanta.

• In the city of Atlanta, 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 located a half mile to one mile away.

The research also indicates that 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.

“Our two major findings regarding start-up charter schools — that those in Atlanta’s suburbs and those with priority zones increase property values — suggest that there could be similar effects in other large metropolitan areas,” said Peter Bluestone, co-author of the report and a senior research associate at the Center for State and Local Finance.

Forthcoming research also will look at labor force outcomes of Georgia start-up charter school students.

About the Center for State and Local Finance
The Center for State and Local Finance (CSLF) builds on the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies' reputation in scholarship and education in public finance. CSLF's mission is to develop the people and ideas for next generation public finance.

Contact Information: 
Joy L. Woodson, Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications, Georgia State University's Center for State and Local Finance Office: 404-413-0137 | Email: jwoodson4@gsu.edu