When it comes to buying a home, the quality of the area’s public schools can play a major role in the planning decision — even if you don’t have young children, proximity to quality districts can affect home values.
Niche, a data site that specializes in education rankings, weighed a number of factors, including academic performance, diversity, parent/student surveys, sports, clubs and more to determine which communities in California have the best public schools in 2023.
When it comes to the top 20 places in California, the greater San Diego area swept the top three spots, Niche found:
|Place||Metro area||State||2023 ranking||2022 ranking||2021 ranking|
|Rancho Santa Fe||San Diego Area||California||1||1||1|
|Fairbanks Ranch||San Diego Area||California||2||2||2|
|Del Mar||San Diego Area||California||3||3||3|
|Los Altos Hills||San Francisco Bay Area||California||4||6||5|
|Solana Beach||San Diego Area||California||5||4||4|
|La Cañada Flintridge||Los Angeles Area||California||6||5||7|
|Palos Verdes Estates||Los Angeles Area||California||7||9||9|
|Encinitas||San Diego Area||California||8||7||12|
|Moraga||San Francisco Bay Area||California||9||15||23|
|Rolling Hills Estates||Los Angeles Area||California||10||10||11|
|South Pasadena||Los Angeles Area||California||11||13||20|
|Rolling Hills||Los Angeles Area||California||12||11||10|
|San Marino||Los Angeles Area||California||13||8||8|
|Arcadia||Los Angeles Area||California||14||14||15|
|Loyola||San Francisco Bay Area||California||15||17||22|
|Pleasanton||San Francisco Bay Area||California||16||20||16|
|Artesia||Los Angeles Area||California||17||47||36|
|Redondo Beach||Los Angeles Area||California||19||22||37|
While not heavily represented in the top 20, several places in the San Francisco Bay Area just missed the list, including Ross (21), Mountain View (22), Sausalito (24), Marin City (25) and Woodacre (26).
Perhaps not surprisingly, most of the areas listed are far from affordable for many people, so if you’re moving to avoid paying for private education, you may want to factor that in.
The median listing price for homes in Rancho Santa Fe, for example, is $4.9 million, according to RedFin. For those hoping to spend a bit less, Artesia and Moraga both came in at median listing prices of only $622,500 and $1.5 million, respectively.
To see the full list of the best public schools in the U.S., see Niche’s recently released rankings.