Special Report

America's Richest School Districts

5) Briarcliff Manor Union Free School District, N.Y.
> Median household income: $183,148
> Pct. households earning $200,000+: 55.6%
> Pct. households earning less than $10,000: 3.3%
> Expenditure per student: $27,938
> Pct. local funding: 82%

In the Briarcliff Manor Union Free School District, 55.6% of households earn more than $200,000. The median income of the district’s residents is $183,148 — more than three times the 2010 national median of $51,914. From the large property taxes in the region as well as other forms of local funding, the district is able to generate enough revenue from residents to spend as much as $27,938 per student. Briarcliff High School students significantly outperformed statewide averages on New York State Assessment tests. For all 10 sections of the tests, almost 100% of Briarcliff students recorded passing grades.

4) Chappaqua Central School District, N.Y.
> Median household income: $198,382
> Pct. households earning $200,000+: 55.7%
> Pct. households earning less than $10,000: 0.2%
> Expenditure per student: $24,705
> Pct. local funding: 84%

The Chappaqua Central School District in Westchester, N.Y., is regularly listed as one of the best school districts in the country. Chappaqua’s only public high school, Horace Greeley, is currently ranked the 14th-best high school in New York State by U.S. News, based on state test proficiency and college-readiness. The enormous $110 million budget — more than $24,705 per student — is 84% funded by Chappaqua residents’ taxes. The median home value in Chappaqua is $929,700 and the average property taxes are $23,500, according to the New Castle assessor’s office. More than 78% of adults in Chappaqua hold a bachelor’s degree, which is more than three times the national average.

Read: America’s Poorest School Districts 

3) Riverdale School District, Ore.
> Median household income: $199,167
> Pct. households earning $200,000+: 59.8%
> Pct. households earning less than $10,000: 1.9%
> Expenditure per student: $16,807
> Pct. local funding: 76%

The only school district outside Westchester County, N.Y., or Fairfield County, Conn, among the 10 wealthiest districts is Riverdale School District, where the median household earns almost $200,000 a year. With a median home value exceeding $1 million, the district is able to collect property taxes as needed to fund its educational initiatives. Though the district spends less per student than any of its East Coast counterparts, this has not limited educational success. Roughly 80% of 10th grade students met or exceeded state standards for math and more than 90% met or exceeded standards for reading. In both cases, Riverdale High School students far exceeded state averages for the Oregon Assessment of Knowledge and Skills tests.

2) Weston School District, Conn.
> Median household income: $209,630
> Pct. households earning $200,000+: 59.3%
> Pct. households earning less than $10,000: 0.8%
> Expenditure per student: $20,718
> Pct. local funding: 90%

Weston School District serves 2,550 students, primarily from households that earn some of the highest incomes in the country. According to the region’s assessor’s office, median property taxes paid per household are roughly $18,000. Weston spends $20,718 per pupil each year, almost 100% more per pupil than the national average of $10,591, placing the district in the 97th percentile in national spending. U.S. News ranks Weston High School as the fourth best high school in Connecticut.

1) Scarsdale Union Free School District, N.Y.
> Median household income: $238,000
> Pct. households earning $200,000+: 64.3%
> Pct. households earning less than $10,000: 0%
> Expenditure per student: $26,742
> Pct. local funding: 89%

With a median income of $238,000, the Scarsdale Union Free School District tops 24/7 Wall St.’s list of the wealthiest school districts in the country. In the district, just 35.7% of households earn less $200,000 a year. Because Scarsdale collects an average property tax of approximately $31,000, the district is able to spend a lot on education. Scarsdale provides 89% of funding for its own schools and spends $26,742 per student. The district’s schools are also among the best in the country. About 90% of eighth-grade students at Scarsdale Middle School meet or exceed NYSA’s standards, while in each subsection of the NYSA high school tests at least 90% of Scarsdale High School students had passing grades.

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