The Richest School Districts in America
10) Darien School District, Conn.
> Median household income: $175,766
> Pct. households earning $200,000+: 52.5%
> Pct. households earning less than $10,000: 1.4%
> Expenditure per student: $18,047
> Pct. local funding: 86%
With a median income of $177,766, the Darien School District is one of the wealthiest in the country. According to an estimate from the Darien Assessor’s Office, home buyers can expect to pay approximately $15,000 per year in property taxes. According to the NCES, 86% of school funding comes from property taxes and other local revenue sources. This allows the district to spend $18,047 per student, which is more than $7,000 more than the national average. The district’s students regularly perform well on state exams. On the 2008-2009 Connecticut Academic Performance Tests, close to 100% of 10th-grade students from the district demonstrated proficiency in reading and writing, while the average Connecticut school had 80% to 90% proficiency. U.S. News ranked the district’s high school seventh in the state of Connecticut.
9) Bronxville Union Free School District, N.Y.
> Median household income: $178,465
> Pct. households earning $200,000+: 55.6%
> Pct. households earning less than $10,000: 1.8%
> Expenditure per student: $27,980
> Pct. local funding: 84%
Not only is median household income in Bronxville an impressive $178,465, but over half of all households earn more than $200,000 a year. The average homeowner pays $43,000 in property taxes each year, which the district uses to fund 84% of the school budget. This year, Newsweek ranked Bronxville High School as the fourth-best public high school in the Northeast, due in part to the school’s 100% graduation and college matriculation rates.
8) New Canaan School District, Conn.
> Median household income: $179,338
> Pct. households earning $200,000+: 54.5%
> Pct. households earning less than $10,000: 0.7%
> Expenditure per student: $18,915
> Pct. local funding: 87%
The New Canaan School District has five schools with a total enrollment of 4,136. The median home sales price in New Canaan has remained above $1 million since 2009, with property taxes of $14,682 to match. Nearly 100% of the students in the district have achieved at least a proficient level on the Connecticut Academic Performance Test administered to grades 3 through 10. Because of its ample funds, the school district offers a variety of classes not available at most schools, including computer science and journalism. New Canaan is ranked as the 15th-best school in Connecticut by U.S. News.
7) Edgemont Union Free School District, N.Y.
> Median household income: $180,042
> Pct. households earning $200,000+: 50.2%
> Pct. households earning less than $10,000: 2.2%
> Expenditure per student: $21,825
> Pct. local funding: 81%
In Edgemont Union Free School District, more than half of all households earn $200,000 a year or more. Accordingly, residents in Scarsdale, in which the school district is located, pay quite a bit in property taxes — $31,000 a year on average. These high taxes result in the district spending $21,825 on each student — more than double the national average. Edgemont is considered one of the best school districts in the nation. The district’s high school, Edgemont Junior Senior High School, was rated 142nd best in Newsweek’s list of the nation’s 1,000 best high schools, as well as 19th on U.S. News’ list of the best high schools in New York.
6) Byram Hills Central School District, N.Y.
> Median household income: $180,850
> Pct. households earning $200,000+: 47.9%
> Pct. households earning less than $10,000: 1.2%
> Expenditure per student: $24,727
> Pct. local funding: 89%
Byram Hills School District in Armonk, N.Y., services 2,745 students from the towns of Armonk, Bedford, Pleasantville and Chappaqua with two elementary schools, a middle school and a high school. More than 81% of households within the Byram Hills School District earn more than $100,000 annually, compared to just 26.4% nationwide. Homes are very expensive in the region, with a median home value of over $1 million. A whopping 89% of property taxes in the region go to the school district’s budget. This district has managed to earn a number of awards, including the Blue Ribbon School Award for outstanding performance on state tests. In addition, a large percentage of Byram Hills High School students have been recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation for their high PSAT scores.