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Friday, August 20, 2010

Parenting Dilemma

For those who don't know about the Nashville school systems, they are very much unlike what most people up North are used to having. The eternal question is always, "Davidson County or Williamson County?". Let me explain.

The school districts here are done by county, meaning the ENTIRE county is one school district. That presents a dilemma in where we eventually choose to buy a house. I have been changing my mind on a daily basis as to where to live.

Davidson County
  • Nashville proper
  • (Usually) less expensive, older homes; slightly more walkable
  • Some good elementary schools, hit or miss middle and high schools, unless you get into the magnet schools by lottery
  • Possibility of needing to send the Kid +/- future siblings to private school in the future = mucho $$$
  • Greater socioeconomic and cultural mix
  • Two of the top high schools in the country (MLK and Hume-Fogg)
Williamson County (specifically Brentwood, Franklin and parts of Nolensville)
  • More "suburban" feel
  • Mix of new construction and established neighborhoods
  • Expensive homes (minimum $300K - but the taxes are so low, it would be the same $ as a house half the price in our old neighborhood)
  • More homogeneous socioeconomic and culturally
  • Reliably good schools from K-12
I had the unique experience of going to elementary school in a "Davidson" type setting when we lived in Athens, Georgia and then going to junior high and high school in a "Williamson" environment (hollaback at Mt. Lebanon!). I went from being surrounded by kids from all over the globe and into the most sterotypical suburban experience one could imagine. A bit of a culture shock. But I had an awesome education with facilities to rival those in some universities. Can't regret that.

Not sure which is the best place to pick. Has anyone else had to make this decision recently?

Insight? Magic 8 Ball advice?

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