Top 10 School Districts for Your Real Estate Dollars

Common logic pairs school spending with school quality. This logic also causes people to assume that wealthier regions have better schools than those less prosperous. While the reasoning for this logic certainly seems sound, in actuality, wealth does not always trump all other factors in school district success.



Working with, Forbes. com studied school districts in areas at our median home price points:

1) Homes $200,000-$399,000

2) Homes $400,000-$599,000

3) Homes $600,000-$799,000

4) Homes $800,000 and up

Interestingly, though the districts in the $800,000 and up areas perform well, they don’t over-perform those in the $200-$399K areas. In fact, the small town of Fallmouth, Maine is the only area to score 100 points on the study’s education quality index, and that town’s real estate, with a median home price of a little over $350K,  is among the least expensive in the batch.

Why? Like all the towns examined here, Fallmouth enjoys an unemployment rate less than the state average.  It also pays its teachers well, better again than the state average. Fallmouth outspends on teacher training and assessment and unsurprisingly, there’s very low turnover among instructional staff. As a result, the district scores higher on national testing, parent approval polls, and student reviews than any other district in this study.

Here we show you the least expensive, followed by the most expensive areas in the study. To see all 4 regions, go here.  The most interesting– and heartening– lesson here is clear: you do not have to be rich to send your kids to great schools. Our country offers great schools in areas with real estate at every price point.


Homes $200,000 to $399,999

Rank City Median Home Value Ed Quality Index
1 Falmouth, ME $351,550 100
2 Barrington, RI $296,010 97.96
3 Bedford, NH $293,730 97.96
4 Brookfield, WI $241,260 94.10
5 Lake Oswego, OR $392,040 93.74
6 Edina, MN $317,690 93.59
7 Brentwood, TN $379,370 90.29
8 Mequon, WI $316,010 90.29
9 Carmel, IN $246,910 89.42
10 Cedarburg, WI $240,770 88.22

Homes $800,000 and Up

Rank City Median Home Value Ed Quality Index
1 Manhattan Beach, CA $1,278,980 97.69
2 New Canaan, CT $1,195,820 91.57
3 Lafayette, CA $811,210 89.58
4 Palo Alto, CA $1,080,980 89.23
5 Westport, CT $931,690 87.81
6 Darien, CT $1,044,750 87.14
7 Orinda, CA $851,990 86.68
8 Weston, MA $1,200,280 86.58
9 Rye, NY $1,265,020 85.74
10 Cupertino, CA $892,580 85.18