Education

Ranking America's 50 Best School Districts

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Many families with children research an area’s school district before considering buying a home. Furthermore, homes in good-quality school districts tend to have higher value than those in less desirable school districts. Although all children in America have access to public education, in reality, the quality of that education can vary widely based on location.

Teachers are critical in providing students with a quality education, however, many teacher positions are left unfilled. Unfortunately, 79% of public schools with open positions reported hiring difficulties in August of 2023 (per the Department of Education.) Most recently, test scores have fallen in students. For example, the share of eighth graders who are proficient in core subjects has fallen is only 26% in math and 31% in reading, according to government data. 

In response to this, Americans have less confidence in the education system than ever before in history. A 2023 Gallup poll revealed less than a quarter of Americans (23%) expressed a high level of confidence in public schools. In 1975, confidence was at a record high of 62%, and just a few years ago in 2020, it was at 41%.

Notably, however, there are many school districts that have managed to avoid the serious issues plaguing America’s public education system. These districts tend to be well-funded and well-regarded by both parents and students. The students who attend them are also typically more likely to graduate and to be proficient in core subjects with above-average standardized test scores.

Using data compiled by Niche, an education and community research platform, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 50 best school districts in America. Niche ranked schools based on a weighted index of multiple measures, including standardized test results, graduation rates, student-teacher ratios, extracurricular clubs and sports teams, and parent and student surveys. A full description of each measure and its weighting is available here

The vast majority of school districts on this list are either in the Midwest or the Northeast. These include 13 districts in Illinois and nine in New York state. Most are also in close proximity to major cities, like Boston, Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia. With only one exception, each of these school districts spends more annually on a per pupil basis than the national average of $12,239, as reported by Niche. (Here is a look at the best places to teach in America.)

In each district on this list with available data, graduation rates exceed 90%, and over half have graduation rates above 95%. (Here is a look at America’s 50 best public high schools.)

Here are the 50 best school districts in America.

Why We’re Covering This

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Public education prepares children for entering college or going into the workforce. A high-quality education for residents improves a country’s business and economic growth. By looking at the top school districts in America, 24/7 Wall St. has identified exactly where in the country children are receiving the best education.

50. West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District

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The West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District, located in West Windsor, NJ, has 9,109 students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 13 to 1. Students are proficient in core subjects with 71% in reading and 57% in math. With ACT scores at 32 out of 36 and SATs at 1390 out of 1600, the school’s graduation rate is 98%. And finally, annual district spending is $23,136 per student.

49. Millburn Township School District

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The Millburn Township School District, located in Millburn, NJ, has 4,796 students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 13 to 1. Students are proficient in core subjects with 79% in reading and 68% in math. With ACT scores at 31 out of 36 and SATs at 1400 out of 1600, the school’s graduation rate is 98%. And finally, annual district spending is $23,337 per student.

48. New Canaan Public Schools

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New Canaan Public Schools, located in New Canaan, CT, has 4,175 students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 13 to 1. Students are proficient in core subjects with 86% in reading and 81% in math. With ACT scores at 31 out of 36 and SATs at 1330 out of 1600, the school’s graduation rate is 97%. And finally, annual district spending is $26,238 per student.

47. South Central School District

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South Central School District, located in Bonesteel, SD, has 75 students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 11 to 1. Students are proficient in core subjects with 44.5% in reading and 34.5% in math. (Note that because the school district in Bonesteel only serves elementary students, there are no stats on graduation rates or standardized test scores.) Finally, annual district spending is $21,747 per student.

46. Wayzata Public Schools

Wayzata Public Schools, located in Plymouth, MN, has 12,018 students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 18 to 1. Students are proficient in core subjects with 78% in reading and 75% in math. With ACT scores at 30 out of 36 and SATs at 1400 out of 1600, the school’s graduation rate is 97%. And finally, annual district spending is $20,282 per student.

45. Mariemont City Schools

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Mariemont City Schools, located in Cincinnati, OH, has 1,566 students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 16 to 1. Students are proficient in core subjects with 92% in reading and 89% in math. With ACT scores at 29 out of 36 and SATs at 1280 out of 1600, the school’s graduation rate is 95%. And finally, annual district spending is $33,003 per student.

44. Lower Merion School District

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Lower Merion School District, located in Ardmore, PA, has 8,531 students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 12 to 1. Students are proficient in core subjects with 84% in reading and 74% in math. With ACT scores at 30 out of 36 and SATs at 1330 out of 1600, the school’s graduation rate is 96%. And finally, annual district spending is $33,650 per student.

43. Princeton Public Schools

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Princeton Public Schools, located in Princeton, NJ, has 3,759 students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 11 to 1. Students are proficient in core subjects with 72% in reading and 49% in math. With ACT scores at 31 out of 36 and SATs at 1360 out of 1600, the school’s graduation rate is 94%. And finally, annual district spending is $30,734 per student.

42. Elmbrook School District

The Elmbrook School District, located in Brookfield, WI, has 7,727 students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 15 to 1. Students are proficient in core subjects with 60% in reading and 61% in math. With ACT scores at 29 out of 36 and SATs at 1380 out of 1600, the school’s graduation rate is 98%. And finally, annual district spending is $14,303 per student.

41. Indian Prairie Community Unit School District No. 204

The Indian Prairie Community Unit School District No. 204, located in Aurora, IL, has 25,815 students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 14 to 1. Students are proficient in core subjects with 47% in reading and 47% in math. With ACT scores at 29 out of 36 and SATs at 1310 out of 1600, the school’s graduation rate is 96%. And finally, annual district spending is $17,104 per student.

40. East Williston Union Free School District

The East Williston Union Free School District, located in Old Westbury, NY, has 1,644 students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 9 to 1. Students are proficient in core subjects with 82% in reading and 90% in math. With ACT scores at 30 out of 36 and SATs at 1340 out of 1600, the school’s graduation rate is 95%. And finally, annual district spending is $36,190 per student.

39. Northern Utah Academy for Math Engineering & Science (Nuames)

The Northern Utah Academy for Math Engineering & Science (Nuames), located in Layton, UT, has 1,134 students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 23 to 1. Students are proficient in core subjects with 74% in reading and 58% in math. With ACT scores at 27 out of 36 and SATs at 1300 out of 1600, the school’s graduation rate is 99%. And finally, annual district spending is $8,130 per student.

38. Arcadia Unified School District

The Arcadia Unified School District, located in Arcadia, CA, has 8,669 students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 23 to 1. Students are proficient in core subjects with 69% in reading and 67% in math. With ACT scores at 31 out of 36 and SATs at 1370 out of 1600, the school’s graduation rate is 97%. And finally, annual district spending is $15,070 per student.

37. Township High School District No. 214

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Township High School District No. 214, located in Arlington Heights, IL, has 12,073 students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 16 to 1. Students are proficient in core subjects with 45% in reading and 42% in math. With ACT scores at 28 out of 36 and SATs at 1230 out of 1600, the school’s graduation rate is 93%. And finally, annual district spending is $25,173 per student.

36. Barrington Community Unit School District No. 220

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The Barrington Community Unit School District No. 220, located in Barrington, IL, has 8,161 students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 13 to 1. Students are proficient in core subjects with 49% in reading and 46% in math. With ACT scores at 30 out of 36 and SATs at 1310 out of 1600, the school’s graduation rate is 97%. And finally, annual district spending is $24,438 per student.

35. Novi Community School District

The Novi Community School District, located in Novi, MI, has 6,612 students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 17 to 1. Students are proficient in core subjects with 72% in reading and 73% in math. With ACT scores at 31 out of 36 and SATs at 1350 out of 1600, the school’s graduation rate is 93%. And finally, annual district spending is $13,953 per student.

34. Northern Valley Regional High School District

The Northern Valley Regional High School District, located in Demarest, NJ, has 2,076 students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 10 to 1. Students are proficient in core subjects with 71% in reading and 58% in math. With ACT scores at 30 out of 36 and SATs at 1330 out of 1600, the school’s graduation rate is 98%. And finally, annual district spending is $47,184 per student.

33. Indian Hill Exempted Village School District

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The Indian Hill Exempted Village School District, located in Cincinnati, OH, has 2,131 students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 14 to 1. Students are proficient in core subjects with 88% in reading and 84% in math. With ACT scores at 31 out of 36 and SATs at 1360 out of 1600, the school’s graduation rate is 95%. And finally, annual district spending is $20,790 per student.

32. Naperville Community Unit School District No. 203

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The Naperville Community Unit School District No. 203, located in Naperville, IL, has 16,245 students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 14 to 1. Students are proficient in core subjects with 58% in reading and 51% in math. With ACT scores at 29 out of 36 and SATs at 1310 out of 1600, the school’s graduation rate is 98%. And finally, annual district spending is $20,473 per student.

31. Weston Public Schools

Weston Public Schools, located in Weston, MA, has 1,948 students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 12 to 1. Students are proficient in core subjects with 77% in reading and 71% in math. With ACT scores at 31 out of 36 and SATs at 1340 out of 1600, the school’s graduation rate is 95%. And finally, annual district spending is $34,908 per student.

30. Hopkinton Public Schools

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Hopkinton Public Schools, located in Hopkinton, MA, has 4,006 students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 14 to 1. Students are proficient in core subjects with 78% in reading and 71% in math. With ACT scores at 30 out of 36 and SATs at 1340 out of 1600, the school’s graduation rate is 99%. And finally, annual district spending is $17,386 per student.

29. Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union High School District

Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union High School District, located in Los Gatos, CA, has 3,382 students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 21 to 1. Students are proficient in core subjects with 90% in reading and 83% in math. With ACT scores at 32 out of 36 and SATs at 1390 out of 1600, the school’s graduation rate is 97%. And finally, annual district spending is $19,426 per student.

28. Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District

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Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District, located in North Merrick, NY, has 5,186 students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 11 to 1. Students are proficient in core subjects with 88% in reading and 84% in math. With ACT scores at 29 out of 36 and SATs at 1260 out of 1600, the school’s graduation rate is 95%. And finally, annual district spending is $29,753 per student.

27. North Allegheny School District

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The North Allegheny School District, located in Pittsburgh, PA, has 8,467 students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 16 to 1. Students are proficient in core subjects with 82% in reading and 64% in math. With ACT scores at 30 out of 36 and SATs at 1310 out of 1600, the school’s graduation rate is 91%. And finally, annual district spending is $23,965 per student.

26. School District of Clayton

The School District of Clayton, located in Clayton, MO, has 2,385 students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 10 to 1. Students are proficient in core subjects with 72% in reading and 68% in math. With ACT scores at 30 out of 36 and SATs at 1320 out of 1600, the school’s graduation rate is 98%. And finally, annual district spending is $24,820 per student.

25. Tredyffrin-Easttown School District

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The Tredyffrin-Easttown School District, located in Wayne, PA, has 6,928 students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 17 to 1. Students are proficient in core subjects with 88% in reading and 77% in math. With ACT scores at 30 out of 36 and SATs at 1360 out of 1600, the school’s graduation rate is 98%. And finally, annual district spending is $22,265 per student.

24. Hewlett-Woodmere Union Free School District

The Hewlett-Woodmere Union Free School District, located in Woodmere, NY, has 2,825 students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 10 to 1. Students are proficient in core subjects with 79% in reading and 72% in math. With ACT scores at 29 out of 36 and SATs at 1290 out of 1600, the school’s graduation rate is 97%. And finally, annual district spending is $41,507 per student.

23. Community High School District 128

Community High School District 128, located in Vernon Hills, IL, has 3,359 students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 14 to 1. Students are proficient in core subjects with 63% in reading and 60% in math. With ACT scores at 30 out of 36 and SATs at 1310 out of 1600, the school’s graduation rate is 98%. And finally, annual district spending is $36,909 per student.

22. New Trier Township High School District No. 203

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New Trier Township High School District No. 203, located in Northfield, IL, has 3,889 students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 10 to 1. Students are proficient in core subjects with 80% in reading and 76% in math. With ACT scores at 30 out of 36 and SATs at 1350 out of 1600, the school’s graduation rate is 98%. And finally, annual district spending is $38,376 per student.

21. Syosset Central School District

Syosset Central School District, located in Syosset, NY, has 6,797 students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 11 to 1. Students are proficient in core subjects with 82% in reading and 88% in math. With ACT scores at 30 out of 36 and SATs at 1380 out of 1600, the school’s graduation rate is 96%. And finally, annual district spending is $36,191 per student.

20. Westport School District

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The Westport School District, located in Westport, CT, has 5,303 students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 11 to 1. Students are proficient in core subjects with 82% in reading and 74% in math. With ACT scores at 31 out of 36 and SATs at 1320 out of 1600, the school’s graduation rate is 98%. And finally, annual district spending is $26,565 per student.

19. Niles Township Community High School District No. 219

The Niles Township Community High School District No. 219, located in Skokie, IL, has 4,619 students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 13 to 1. Students are proficient in core subjects with 42% in reading and 37% in math. With ACT scores at 28 out of 36 and SATs at 1230 out of 1600, the school’s graduation rate is 93%. And finally, annual district spending is $43,140 per student.

18. San Dieguito Union High School District

The San Dieguito Union High School District, located in Encinitas, CA, has 12,704 students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 25 to 1. Students are proficient in core subjects with 79% in reading and 72% in math. With ACT scores at 30 out of 36 and SATs at 1350 out of 1600, the school’s graduation rate is 96%. And finally, annual district spending is $17,579 per student.

17. Township High School District No. 211

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Township High School District No. 211, located in Palatine, IL, has 12,121 students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 15 to 1. Students are proficient in core subjects with 43% in reading and 45% in math. With ACT scores at 29 out of 36 and SATs at 1260 out of 1600, the school’s graduation rate is 95%. And finally, annual district spending is $26,178 per student.

16. Palo Alto Unified School District

The Palo Alto Unified School District, located in Palo Alto, CA, has 11,395 students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 18 to 1. Students are proficient in core subjects with 80% in reading and 79% in math. With ACT scores at 32 out of 36 and SATs at 1410 out of 1600, the school’s graduation rate is 95%. And finally, annual district spending is $26,678 per student.

15. Hinsdale Township High School District No. 86

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The Hinsdale Township High School District No. 86, located in Hinsdale, IL, has 3,894 students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 13 to 1. Students are proficient in core subjects with 64% in reading and 62% in math. With ACT scores at 30 out of 36 and SATs at 1330 out of 1600, the school’s graduation rate is 92%. And finally, annual district spending is $36,133 per student.

14. Half Hollow Hills Central School District

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The Half Hollow Hills Central School District, located in Dix Hills, NY, has 7,408 students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 11 to 1. Students are proficient in core subjects with 75% in reading and 79% in math. With ACT scores at 30 out of 36 and SATs at 1300 out of 1600, the school’s graduation rate is 95%. And finally, annual district spending is $32,846 per student.

13. Scarsdale Union Free School District

The Scarsdale Union Free School District, located in Scarsdale, NY, has 4,642 students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 12 to 1. Students are proficient in core subjects with 92% in reading and 87% in math. With ACT scores at 32 out of 36 and SATs at 1420 out of 1600, the school’s graduation rate is 98%. And finally, annual district spending is $38,850 per student.

12. West Lafayette Community School Corporation

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The West Lafayette Community School Corporation, located in West Lafayette, IN, has 2,369 students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 14 to 1. Students are proficient in core subjects with 70% in reading and 66% in math. With ACT scores at 32 out of 36 and SATs at 1340 out of 1600, the school’s graduation rate is 95%. And finally, annual district spending is $14,580 per student.

11. Great Neck Public Schools

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Great Neck Public Schools, located in Great Neck, NY, has 6,776 students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 11 to 1. Students are proficient in core subjects with 83% in reading and 86% in math. With ACT scores at 31 out of 36 and SATs at 1390 out of 1600, the school’s graduation rate is 94%. And finally, annual district spending is $36,078 per student.

10. Radnor Township School District

The Radnor Township School District, located in Wayne, PA, has 3,601 students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 14 to 1. Students are proficient in core subjects with 86% in reading and 72% in math. With ACT scores at 31 out of 36 and SATs at 1350 out of 1600, the school’s graduation rate is 97%. And finally, annual district spending is $26,584 per student.

9. Roslyn Union Free School District

The Roslyn Union Free School District, located in Roslyn, NY, has 3,318 students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 13 to 1. Students are proficient in core subjects with 82% in reading and 83% in math. With ACT scores at 31 out of 36 and SATs at 1390 out of 1600, the school’s graduation rate is 97%. And finally, annual district spending is $32,874 per student.

8. Ladue School District

The Ladue School District, located in St Louis, MO, has 4,382 students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 13 to 1. Students are proficient in core subjects with 70% in reading and 64% in math. With ACT scores at 29 out of 36 and SATs at 1450 out of 1600, the school’s graduation rate is 97%. And finally, annual district spending is $17,320 per student.

7. South Texas Independent School District

The South Texas Independent School District, located in Mercedes, TX, has 4,251 students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 17 to 1. Students are proficient in core subjects with 74% in reading and 54% in math. With ACT scores at 26 out of 36 and SATs at 1200 out of 1600, the school’s graduation rate is 99%. And finally, annual district spending is $15,039 per student.

6. Jericho Union Free School District

The Jericho Union Free School District, located in Jericho, NY, has 3,182 students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 12 to 1. Students are proficient in core subjects with 86% in reading and 91% in math. With ACT scores at 32 out of 36 and SATs at 1420 out of 1600, the school’s graduation rate is 99%. And finally, annual district spending is $39,926 per student.

5. Township High School District No. 113

The Township High School District No. 113, located in Highland Park, IL, has 3,298 students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 12 to 1. Students are proficient in core subjects with 63% in reading and 60% in math. With ACT scores at 29 out of 36 and SATs at 1310 out of 1600, the school’s graduation rate is 95%. And finally, annual district spending is $38,613 per student.

4. Eanes Independent School District

The Eanes Independent School District, located in Austin, TX, has 7,834 students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 15 to 1. Students are proficient in core subjects with 74% in reading and 70% in math. With ACT scores at 31 out of 36 and SATs at 1360 out of 1600, the school’s graduation rate is 99%. And finally, annual district spending is $26,715 per student.

3. Evanston Township High School District No. 202

The Evanston Township High School District No. 202, located in Evanston, IL, has 3,727 students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 14 to 1. Students are proficient in core subjects with 52% in reading and 47% in math. With ACT scores at 28 out of 36 and SATs at 1230 out of 1600, the school’s graduation rate is 92%. And finally, annual district spending is $27,67 per student.

2. Glenbrook High School District 225

The Glenbrook High School District 225, located in Glenview, IL, has 5,132 students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 13 to 1. Students are proficient in core subjects with 64% in reading and 62% in math. With ACT scores at 30 out of 36 and SATs at 1320 out of 1600, the school’s graduation rate is 97%. And finally, annual district spending is $53,682 per student.

1. Adlai E. Stevenson High School District No. 125

The Adlai E. Stevenson High School District No. 125, located in Lincolnshire, IL, has 4,392 students with a student-to-teacher ratio of 16 to 1. Students are proficient in core subjects with 73% in reading and 72% in math. With ACT scores at 31 out of 36 and SATs at 1360 out of 1600, the school’s graduation rate is 96%. And finally, annual district spending is $37,088 per student.

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