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### Study Reveals Top Public Schools in Chicago Suburbs

(NEXSTAR) – Families with young children may find peace of mind and potential savings by residing in an area with excellent public education. When searching for top-notch K-12 public schooling, starting the quest in the suburbs is advisable, as per Niche’s annual study.

Scarsdale, a suburb of New York City with a population of approximately 18,000, secures the top spot in the 2024 ranking of Places with the Best Public Schools in America. Renowned for its picturesque homes and town, Scarsdale garners A+ ratings for its public schools and family-friendly environment. However, the luxury comes at a price, with the average home value soaring to $1.61 million in February.

In Illinois, Long Grove and Lincolnshire claim the fourth and fifth positions, respectively. Situated in Lake County and each home to around 8,000 residents, these suburbs boast ample dining options and recreational areas. Long Grove offers a rural ambiance where most residents are homeowners, while Lincolnshire presents a more urban setting with a similar homeowner demographic. Notably, Long Grove ranks first in Illinois for the “Best Places to Raise a Family,” while Lincolnshire secures the sixth spot in the “Best Places to Retire in Illinois,” according to Niche.

Buffalo Grove, another Chicago suburb, takes the tenth spot on the list. With a population of nearly 43,000, Buffalo Grove also clinches the second position in Niche’s “Best Places to Live in Lake County.”

For the complete list of the top 20 places in the U.S. with the best public schools in 2024, refer to the rankings below:

  1. Scarsdale – Suburb of New York City
  2. West Lake Hills – Suburb of Austin, Texas
  3. Rollingwood – Suburb of Austin, Texas
  4. Long Grove – Suburb of Chicago
  5. Lincolnshire – Suburb of Chicago
  6. Roosevelt – Borough in New Jersey’s Monmouth County
  7. Devon – Suburb of Philadelphia
  8. Berwyn – Suburb of Philadelphia
  9. Chesterbrook – Suburb of Philadelphia
  10. Buffalo Grove – Suburb of Chicago
  11. Woodbury – Suburb of New York City
  12. Lexington – Suburb of Boston
  13. Syosset – Suburb of New York City
  14. Radnor Township – Suburb of Philadelphia
  15. Hinsdale – Suburb of Chicago
  16. Fairbanks Ranch – Suburb of San Diego
  17. Rancho Santa Fe – Suburb of San Diego
  18. Del Mar – Suburb of San Diego
  19. Clarendon Hills – Suburb of Chicago
  20. Los Altos Hills – Suburb of San Jose, California

(Source: Niche)

For the complete 2024 rankings, visit the Niche website.

Niche’s methodology relies on public data from the Department of Education, U.S. Census, National Center for Education Statistics, and millions of reviews.

Education and the impact of the pandemic

The American education system continues to grapple with the aftermath of COVID-19, which disrupted in-person schooling and the learning experiences of countless young individuals.

An analysis conducted by the Associated Press in December 2023 revealed an estimated 50,000 students missing from various U.S. educational settings, including public, private, and homeschool environments.

While the reasons behind these absences are not entirely clear, experts suggest that factors such as homelessness, waning motivation, mental health challenges, or increased responsibilities may have contributed to the issue. The latest data from fall 2022 indicates an improvement compared to the preceding year, where over 230,000 students were unaccounted for.

However, the education landscape has not fully reverted to its pre-pandemic state. The AP’s nationwide analysis highlights a sustained disengagement from public schools as individuals explore alternative educational avenues. Private schooling witnessed an almost 8% growth, while homeschooling surged by over 25% from fall 2019 to fall 2022 in states with reliable enrollment data. Conversely, public school enrollment remained subdued, declining by more than 1 million students, according to the AP analysis.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.