And so we have the case of the Scottsdale (AZ) Unified School District. Scottsdale, occupying the northeast corner of metropolitan Phoenix, is a town of 225,000 people with a north-south axis of about 30 miles and an east-west axis of about 10 miles. But the Scottsdale Unified School District (27,000 students strong) incorporates nearly all of that area in the city and most of the neighboring town of Paradise Valley to the west. The southern portions of Scottsdale are lower to lower-middle class economically, and most of the town's Hispanics and American Indians live in the south. Neighboring Paradise Valley is for the rich: 96% white; and multi-million dollar homes of residents like Muhammed Ali, Shaquille O'Neal, Mike Tyson, Charles Barkley, Glen Campbell, Stevie Nicks, Dick Van Dyke, Alice Cooper, Hugh Downs, Dan Quayle, Sandra Day O'Connor, and Charles Keating.
Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) has been bleeding about 2% of its student population in recent years. According to administrators, the loss is the gain of charter schools and private schools; and there are several Notre Dame Prep, Christ Lutheran School, Veritas Prep, Basis Scottsdale, Primavera Online, Pardes, King David, and many others. Next year Great Hearts Academies plans to open two new charters in Scottsdale. In a recent enrollment study undertaken by the SUSD it was learned that the district's capture rate (i.e., percentage of eligible students who attend SUSD schools) for students living in Paradise Valley was 43%. For students living in south Scottsdale, the capture rate was 95%.