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Old 02-16-2011, 09:06 PM
 
Location: California
34 posts, read 41,575 times
Reputation: 17

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Hey folks,

I wanted to get some opinions from all these seemingly well educated and certainly opinionated (which should be helpful) folks here. My wife, my year and a half year old son, and I are trying to decide where to move. We are coming from the Sacramento area in California. We are a young couple with our future in mind. Here is our concerns. We like California, however the cost of living is quiet high. We also are looking for a fresh encounter with different culture. I'm graduating soon with a Criminal Justice degree and want to go to law school. I feel I have to decide on a state prior to picking a law school (due to the fact I want to practice in the state that we chose). California's law system is congested and I anticipate much frustrations with it. (I would like to factor this into the decision as well). We are done, for now, with California.

Here is what we are looking for in our future location: we want a state that, overall, sets high values to education and family (for example, the culture and societal encouragement surrounding families). We want a state with a positive outlook for their future economy. I want a relatively simple (meaning straight forward) law system. She wants to be a personal trainer so we're looking for a state that she will be able to do that as well. We are looking at climate but as a secondary importance. We also have family in CA still and would like to visit more frequently. However, I hope to have enough salary coming in that I can visit from any state. In a nut shell, those are the most important things we are looking at.

Any and all help/suggestions is much appreciated.
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Old 02-17-2011, 07:36 AM
 
Location: Western, Colorado
1,598 posts, read 2,750,424 times
Reputation: 942
I would stay in CA. If money is the biggest drawback, you'll make a good enough living as an attorney ( I know, my wife is one).

It'll be hard leaving family behind. I know - I did the same to move out here to Colorado, and now am considering moving back to the east coast to be closer to them.

The weather is another thing. The weather in CA is about as perfect as one could ask for. Unless you like sweltering jungle heat and humidity 7+ months out of the year, you'll hate NC and TX.
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Old 02-17-2011, 11:10 AM
 
863 posts, read 1,310,441 times
Reputation: 668
Colorado ranks #42 in per-pupil funding in the nation.

Our governor just proposed cutting more than $300 million from K-12 education and lots from higher education.


Based on your job being invested in quality education, and you want your children to have good education, unless you are willing to pay more for your education, and either live in an area in CO that raises property taxes to compensate the loss of state revenue in the public schools/put your child in private school, I'd suggest elsewhere.
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Old 02-17-2011, 06:44 PM
 
Location: Western, Colorado
1,598 posts, read 2,750,424 times
Reputation: 942
Quote:
Originally Posted by hollyt00 View Post
Colorado ranks #42 in per-pupil funding in the nation.

Our governor just proposed cutting more than $300 million from K-12 education and lots from higher education.


Based on your job being invested in quality education, and you want your children to have good education, unless you are willing to pay more for your education, and either live in an area in CO that raises property taxes to compensate the loss of state revenue in the public schools/put your child in private school, I'd suggest elsewhere.
Please provide proof where more money spent results in a better education/smarted child.
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Old 02-18-2011, 08:36 AM
 
Location: California
34 posts, read 41,575 times
Reputation: 17
Thank you for the responses so far! I feel the more informed I am, the better decision I can make. I value all the opinions thus far!
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Old 02-18-2011, 08:45 AM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
13,228 posts, read 24,324,918 times
Reputation: 12948
Yeah, I don't think Colorado is it.
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Old 02-18-2011, 08:59 AM
 
Location: California
34 posts, read 41,575 times
Reputation: 17
Why's that David?
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Old 02-18-2011, 09:55 AM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
13,228 posts, read 24,324,918 times
Reputation: 12948
Just judging from your original post, I wasn't feeling Colorado for you, but:

-Fairly high cost-of-living (Denver metro is roughly comparable to Sacramento), however, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Greeley, the Eastern Plains, and some of the far out Denver sprawl can be cheap.

-There are two law schools in Denver: CU Boulder (Boulder is San Francisco-style expensive, though cheaper areas are within commuting distance....see: Longmont), and DU (University of Denver).

-IMO Colorado doesn't set high values to education. It's down the list after snow sports, outdoorsy stuff, Whole Foods, marijuana, beer, work, traffic, home life, etc. I would think somewhere back east (pretty much anywhere in BosWash), or places like SF and Seattle fit the "high value to education" thing far more than anywhere in Colorado (I've never gotten said impression here).

-Re: high value to family, any middle-class, family-oriented suburb just about anywhere will have that. Colorado Springs is known for being family-oriented, as are most Denver suburbs, and parts of every sizable city in the state. We have Rocklin's, Roseville's, and Folsom's here too if that's what you're looking for.

-This is only me talking, but I think Colorado is getting worse economically than it is getting better. Just a feeling is all.

-CO is a health-focused state, so I'm not sure if there's a surplus or deficit of personal trainers.

-If you like lots of snow, and wild temperature swings where it can be -9F one week, and 65F the next, Colorado is your place.

I'm thinking places more along the line of Olympia, WA, the Eastside suburbs of Seattle, and parts of the Bay Area (if it wasn't so expensive), for you (JMO).
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Old 02-18-2011, 10:13 AM
 
811 posts, read 1,224,188 times
Reputation: 2111
Quote:
Originally Posted by MojoJojo18 View Post
Here is what we are looking for in our future location: we want a state that, overall, sets high values to education and family (for example, the culture and societal encouragement surrounding families). We want a state with a positive outlook for their future economy.
Relative to CA, Colorado (in my opinion/experience) fits the above-description. Colorado is one of the most-educated states in the nation in terms of percentage of population with college and post-college degrees, though that is less of a "home-grown" phenomenon and more a result of folks like you (and me) moving here with degree(s) in hand. You are wise to consider going to professional school in the state you intend to live. I graduated near the top of my class from one of the best professional schools in the nation (located in CA) and it was BRUTAL trying to find my first job with no CO connections and that "CA" on the resume. Brutal.

As far as family, it's not that CO puts a "high value" on family relative to CA, it's more that the economic forces in CO are FAR more condusive to a successful family existence than I experienced in (coastal) CA, where virtually every family I knew (including my own) was broken/divorced. Not to say there's not divorce here. Just that long-term successful marriages are, as far as I can tell, FAR more the norm here than in CA.

Did I mention the job search in CO can be brutal, particularly if there's even a "whiff" of CA scent on you? Three years at a CO law school would probably be sufficient to remove that CA stigma potential employers would likely find stinky.

As far as economic outlook, I'm no economist, but I suspect long-term population trends will favor Rocky Mountain West population centers (i.e. the Colorado front range) at the expense of increasingly congested, unlivable coastal states. That's not to say you won't have challenges, because you will, but the payoff is that once you get a foot in the door here and somewhat established, you're literally MILES ahead of where you'd be in CA. For example, we own a spacious home (2/3 paid off) overlooking the city (Colorado Springs), in one of the best school districts in the state if not the nation, a 12 minute commute to my downtown office, surrounded by parks and hiking trails, and my wife has the financial ability to stay home with our kids until she feels the time is right to go back to work. On the identical income in coastal CA, we'd be lucky to be renting a two-bedroom apartment in a moderately safe neighborhood. It's hard to even express how much better the opportunity/lifestyle is out here compared to CA. The only real downside is that some CO "natives" will blame economic refugees like you that CO looks different than their memories of the 1950's, but that's a relatively small price to pay for the lifestyle upgrade from the CA nightmare.
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Old 02-18-2011, 06:53 PM
 
863 posts, read 1,310,441 times
Reputation: 668
Having more money per pupil allows for more teachers? Perhaps smaller class sizes instead of classes of 45 in a Spanish classroom? You can teach on a shoestring budget, certainly, but there becomes a point where you simply can't even fund the teachers, the heat for the classrooms, the books for the kids to read.


No proof, don't want to bother, sorry to disappoint
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