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Old 04-17-2013, 04:34 AM
 
Location: Dubai, UAE
2 posts, read 1,465 times
Reputation: 10

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We are moving to the area after living overseas for the last 11 years. My husband will be working in the Chicago Heights area. He wants a commute of 30 minutes or less. I know nothing about the area. Before moving overseas, we lived near Ann Arbor, MI. I have 2 children ages 13 and 15 (and 2 in college). My 13 year old has never gone to school in the US. Schools are a concern for me. My kids are afraid they won't fit in. They're not spoiled expats and are actually quite shy. I have been looking at real estate on line in Illinois and NW Indiana. Frankfort, St. John, Crown Point, Munster to name a few. The difference in property taxes between Illinois and Indiana is so extreme. Are the schools better in Illinois? Any advice is greatly appreciated.
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Old 04-17-2013, 05:19 AM
 
Location: Bloomington IN
8,590 posts, read 12,414,379 times
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No, the schools are not better in Illinois, particularly in the IL suburbs nearest Chicago Heights. There are many reasons for the tax differences; far too many to post here really.

A bit more information from you would be useful in making suggestions. For example, are you planning on renting or buying a house; what about size preferences, cost, do you have a preference for the size of the schools, other activities in the area?


You might also throw Floosmoor, IL, Schererville, IN, and Dyer, IN into the mix. New Lenox, IL is also nice, but it's likely more than 30 minutes. St. John, Dyer, and Schererville are all in the same school district.
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Old 04-17-2013, 06:06 AM
 
Location: Dubai, UAE
2 posts, read 1,465 times
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From what I can tell, all of the public schools are quite large, so I don't feel I have much choice when it comes to the size of the school. Class size is probably most important, and the communities that are most accepting of new kids from a diverse upbringing. My kids love sports - my daughter plays soccer, volleyball and softball and my son plays tennis and baseball, but I'm not sure how competitive they'll be compared with kids in the US, so communities with rec. leagues would be good.

We plan on buying a house. I want a newer home (or updated - I want move in ready, not in the mood for a fixer uper) with a minimum of 4 bedrooms, 3 1/2+baths and 3 car garage and minimum sqft of 3500+. Price depends a bit on the taxes. From what I see on line, I like the look of Lake Hills in St. John. We want a community with trees and hills (I've been living in the desert of the Middle East for the past 5 years!) Also, we're very involved in our non-denominational Christian church with a contemporary worship service. It's really important to find a good "church" home. Convenient shopping is important too. I'm hoping there's a Costco near by!
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Old 04-17-2013, 11:43 AM
 
Location: Turn Left at Greenland
17,765 posts, read 39,814,795 times
Reputation: 8258
Why not look into Munster Indiana? The school system is one of the best in the state. Google mapping it, it seems like the commute would be reasonable.
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Old 04-17-2013, 03:10 PM
 
811 posts, read 2,346,655 times
Reputation: 644
Quote:
Originally Posted by move13 View Post
We are moving to the area after living overseas for the last 11 years. My husband will be working in the Chicago Heights area. He wants a commute of 30 minutes or less. I know nothing about the area. Before moving overseas, we lived near Ann Arbor, MI. I have 2 children ages 13 and 15 (and 2 in college). My 13 year old has never gone to school in the US. Schools are a concern for me. My kids are afraid they won't fit in. They're not spoiled expats and are actually quite shy. I have been looking at real estate on line in Illinois and NW Indiana. Frankfort, St. John, Crown Point, Munster to name a few. The difference in property taxes between Illinois and Indiana is so extreme. Are the schools better in Illinois? Any advice is greatly appreciated.

The comparison between Illinois schools and those Indiana schools is tough. The two states use different metrics of testing so you can't really compare the data side by side. I think just about everyone familiar with the area would agree that the Lincolnway schools in Frankfort are highly regarded, just as Munster, Lake Central, and Crown Point's districts are in Indiana. I would imagine that many people living in a town like Frankfort say the additional property taxes are well worth it because the schools are good. I would also imagine that most people living in the three Indiana towns you mentioned would say overall they are happy with the quality of education while not having to pay an exorbitant amount of property taxes. Ideally you'd want a response from someone who has gone through or had kids in the Lincolnway schools and also have experience dealing with these Indiana districts too. But, I bet those people are probably are few and far between and to my knowledge none of the regular posters on this board have that experience.

Overall, I think most reasonable people would say schools in Frankfort are not THAT much better than the Indiana schools in the towns you listed, if at all. Also I would point out that I stuck with just the schools in Frankfort in my response, but I realize you asked whether the schools in Illinois are better. You really can't make a blanket statement because there are some really good schools in Illinois in the south suburbs (such as those in Frankfort), some average, and some really really bad, all within 5-10 miles of each other. The same can be said about schools in Indiana.
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