Royal Oak Michigan? Reconsider.
I think *MOST* people consider Royal Oak Michigan as the "Jewel" of the Tri-County area in Michigan. I guess it is compared to most places - upscale downtown, college, culture, arts, zoo, fairly low crime, high property values, clean and pretty friendly. However when considering Royal Oak, I have to give a stern warning about one thing that is killing the city. The schools! Royal Oak schools continue a slippery slope of decline that will end up in disaster. Royal Oak, like many cities in Michigan, is experiencing a population declien, and more importantly, a population decline in school age children and families. Young, single professionals and rejuveniles are filling the gap, and at the same time removing much of the family oriented nature of the community.
The result? 4 Schools are slated to close in 2006/2007 with massive consolidation of students to existing facilities. The existing facilities are poorly maintained, and desperately in need of renovation. Most of the facilities don't have air conditioning, have poor heating, and things like carpet pulling up in the hallways.
Since 1966 Royal Oak has been on a slippery slope of School District degradation, lets look at the schools that have already been closed;
Barton Jr High
Lyon Jr. High
Churchill Jr High
and the ones closing in 2006/2007;
Dondero High School (however it will be converted to the sole middle school for all of Royal Oak, ack!)
Mark Twain Elementary
This is all a result of shortsighted politics in the city council and school board. They fail to recognize that property values are largely tied directly to the quality of schools and facilities. The single professionals, gay couples, and rejuveniles don't care, but the families do, and in Royal Oak, our voice as families is being drowned out by those other constituents!
My advice to anyone considering Royal Oak and you have a family, or will be starting one. Reconsider.. I know for the first time in 10 years, I am considering a move OUT of here to a more family friendly city.