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What County Line Road Means To Academic Success

Laura Ziegler

While it doesn’t get talked about much, one of the most important predicators for academic success is wealth.

Students who come from families with some means and comfort generally do better than kids who live below or near the poverty line.

One of the easiest places to see the contrast is along County Line Road which divides Johnson and Wyandotte Counties in Kansas.

“The kids on the north side of County Line Road are going to go to school in KCK and their classmates are going to be from households with parents who have less education,” says Professor John Rury from the University Of Kansas School Of Education.

“So they’re going to have as a group less readiness for school.”

But on the other side of County Line, which for some reason changes to 47th Street, is Johnson County. Rury says historically Johnson County has attracted parents who moved there because they value education above all else.

“They go there because of the education,” he says.

Property values can, in fact, be a predictor of academic success.

On South 9th Terrace, just a block north of County Line in KCK, a four bedroom, two bath house recently sold for $110,000.

Hardwood floors, spacious yard, built in 1957 — it’s a nice looking home.

But on Alhambra Street on the Roeland Park side, not a 1000 feet away, the same size home built about the same year sold for $142,000.

“Having some wealth or comfort, some affluence is helpful,” says Rury.

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