Woman to Women
Desperately Seeking Safety
Schools, safety and surf top list of best places to raise kids
-Mary Beth Sammons
Great – now that my three kids have reached the teen years, news organizations across the country have ruled that multi-hour commutes, expensive houses and divorcing friends and neighbors do not make for great places to raise kids. Well, welcome to my suburban Chicago neighborhood.
Instead, according to the results published by Best Life we’d all be better off raising our kids in Honolulu. (It’s the top-ranked city because it supposedly has half the national unemployment and half the crime rate, and its schools invest 10 percent more in students than your average Midwestern town, where my family’s roots are planted. Oh, and it’s easier to find a beach.)
The magazine used data compiled by a number of sources, including the FBI and the American Association of Museums. (They’re right; my kids would have trouble surfing, and the library is not exactly the MOCA.) The criteria that makes for safe towns include good schools with favorable student-teacher ratios, above-average test scores and respectable budgets. Plenty of museums, parks and pediatricians also contribute to a good quality of life. And, again, a beach.
The good news is there is hope for moms like me. That’s college. San Diego, Colorado Springs and northern California (where my son is) all ranked high on places to live. And it could be worse. We could live in Waco, which ranked the lowest.