Emily Badger, writing for Miller-McCune:
The researchers discovered a strong correlation between community satisfaction and quality schools. The better the schools (as people perceive them), the more satisfied people are with their communities — and this is true whether they have children attending them or not. This positive relationship holds even after the researchers controlled for other community and individual characteristics, suggesting, they write, that “public school quality uniquely contributes to community satisfaction” above and beyond other common explanations, such as high rates of homeownership or job availability.
The researchers believe it’s not simply the case that good schools happen to be located in good communities. Rather, public schools actually contribute to that satisfaction — and for everyone.
Public schools are a common whipping boy for budget woes in my home town, and many people without school-age children say they shouldn’t have to pay for them. If I could send each and every one of them Badger’s article, I would.