The West Hartford, Connecticut Public Schools BOE has a clause in the contract for their district superintendent of schools that stipulates compensation will be also in direct relationship to the increase in property values in the municipality/district (coterminous). Similarly, if property values decline, compensation declines for that portion governed by this clause. Naturally, several academic and operating performance metrics are applied to determine overall compensation beyond the property values clause.
The logical extension of such a clause to mayors and council members as well as other public sector administrators would be to develop a three year rolling average of property values which would minimize the effect of exogenous factors and “one-year blips.” The three year averages of market and assessed property values could be posted to all mayoral and council communications and web sites as well as for all BOE communications and web sites. Such posting and regular communication would continually make stakeholders aware of and maintain the importance of how the quality of the education provided by local schools under girds property values.
The BOE, Mayor, and Common Council play vital roles influencing the relationship of the quality locally provided education and local property values. In this way, all stakeholders might have a regular and clear way to monitor how well their investment in their schools and municipality is providing a type of “ROI.” Indeed, operating and capital budget as well as operating and programmatic discussions could begin with these metrics.