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Top public schools: $800,000 or more

From coastal hamlets to leafy burbs, these top 10 cities offer families exceptional public schools and median home prices upwards of $800K.

By GreatSchools Staff

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Mercer Island, Wash.

Mercer Island, Wash.

Education quality score: 95.93
Median home price: $863,160
Population: 23,894

Situated in Lake Washington in the Seattle metro area, Mercer Island offers a stunning natural setting and a quick commute via floating bridge to the big caffeinated city. With acres of open parkland and abundant waterfront, the city boasts lots of family-friendly hot spots including a boat dock and fishing pier, a swimming beach, an amphitheater, tennis courts, and picnic facilities.

The school district has some of the highest performance scores in the state for primary and secondary students. Mercer Island High School produces national-level scholarship recipients and National Merit finalists virtually every year. At a time when public schools are struggling financially nationwide, how does Mercer Island pack its coffers? The key might very well be the $1 million a year the tiny district receives from the Mercer Island Schools Foundation, as well as the high income and visibility of its residents, including Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen, Ford CEO Alan Mulally and financial analyst Colby Hanover (who rank among the richest people in the world), and a large contingent of Amazon and Microsoft execs.

Explore Mercer Island schools

Photo credit: papalars

Comments from GreatSchools.org readers

10/26/2010:
"I am glad you did not hear of Montgomery, NJ - a very small town of about 20,000 with J&J Consumer HQs and Bloomberg and a top (VERY diverse) school set in a rural setting yet with proximity/access to one of the best colleges in the world (Princeton) and hence it's resources. We don't want the bucolic countryside upset by snobs and self-serving opportunists who are not interested in contributing and BUILDING communities."
04/26/2010:
"This list is really silly. These are all old money suburbs. There are many of these and some of these school districts are not as good as the local privates. I think Palo Alto, CA; Winnetka, IL; La Canada, CA all belong on this list. Plus the Mercer Island photo is actually of Bellevue. Just a heads up."
04/14/2010:
"I cannot believe you found no good schools in southern California cities.Did you even look at arcadia or san marino? "
04/6/2010:
"A few facts are wrong here. There isn't a ferry ride to Seattle, however, you can get to Seattle within minutes via a floating bridge. There is also another bridge over to Bellevue. We love the schools and the teachers wonderful place to call home!"
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