You cannot send your child to a public school "for free" if you do not live within the district's borders. The people living and paying taxes within the borders are paying for the district's education budget.
As Realtors, we don't talk about schools, but we can talk about budgeting. There are many ways of looking at paying for education. Some people find that living in an area with a proportionately lower tax rate and paying for private/parochial education separately, saves them money in the long term, versus living in an area where the taxes are very high and sending them to public school "for free" for 13 years or less. Sometimes it costs less to pay for education only during the years your children are using the education, especially if you plan to stay in the home for a long period time. This concept depends, of course, on how many children you have, their ages and their needs. Some people find that it gives them the freedom to tailor your child's educational needs and not get stuck beholden to the programs offered "for free" within a higher taxed school district. The bottom line is that you are paying for it either way. A 2,500 sq/ft, 3 bedroom home in Westchester may be taxed anywhere from $8,000 - $45,000 annually depending on location. I know this was not your direct question but I think it's something to add to the conversation as buyers can very often be school district oriented even when the numbers don't work.
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
Julia B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty