Richest and Poorest School Districts
7. Weston School District, Massachusetts
> Median household income: $192,563
> Student enrollment: 2,361
> State per pupil spending: $14,515
> District per pupil spending: $20,460
Boston suburb Weston, Massachusetts, is one of the wealthiest school district in the country. The median household income in the area is $192,563, substantially higher than the vast majority of other U.S. areas. As is usually the case with extremely wealthy districts, the public school system is very well funded. Expenditures average more than $20,000 per pupil annually, or roughly double the average national per student public school spending. Even with such well-funded public schools, a large share of Weston parents are still opting to send their children to private institutions. Roughly one in five students in the district go to private schools compared to a national average share of 16.5% of students attending private K-12 schools.
6. Bronxville Union Free School District, New York
> Median household income: $195,337
> Student enrollment: 1,569
> State per pupil spending: $19,818
> District per pupil spending: $28,662
While 79.2% of Bronxville housing units are owned by their occupants, higher than the national homeownership rate, area residents are less likely to own their homes than in other wealthy school districts. The reluctance to purchase a home among some people in the area could be due to the extremely high property taxes. According to the Empire Center, a public policy research organization, Westchester County, where Bronxville is located, has some of the highest property taxes in the state. A large portion of the high property taxes go towards school funding. Coupled with the especially high median home value in the area of nearly $1 million, tax revenues likely contributed to especially high school district funding from local sources. More than 90% of all school funding comes from local sources, one of the highest such proportions nationwide.
5. Chappaqua Central School District, New York
> Median household income: $196,655
> Student enrollment: 4,068
> State per pupil spending: $19,818
> District per pupil spending: $26,251
Chappaqua Central School District is one of six among the 10 best-funded districts located outside New York City. The median annual household income of $196,655 is well more than three times the national median income of $53,046. As incomes increase so does the likelihood of owning a home. In the Chappaqua area, 91.9% of housing units are owned by their occupants, one of the highest homeownership rates. And these homes are some of the most valuable homes in the nation, with median value of $872,900. The high home values contributed to local sources of school funding, which accounted for 86.5% of total school district spending. In contrast, 45.3% of school funding comes from local sources nationwide. In total, the district spends $26,251 per pupil annually versus the national average of $10,700.
4. Darien School District, Connecticut
> Median household income: $205,688
> Student enrollment: 4,815
> State per pupil spending: $16,631
> District per pupil spending: $17,868
The Darien school district is one of the nation’s two wealthiest districts located in Connecticut. With a median annual household income of $205,688, Darien is the fourth wealthiest school district in the nation. The Darien public school system spent $12,356 per pupil on instruction alone, nearly double the national average expenditure on instruction. Given the significant investment in public education in the district, parents were less likely than most to send their children to private school. Only 14.5% of students in Darien are enrolled in private school, a smaller share than the 16.5% of American students. Like many of the nation’s wealthiest school districts, Darien gets a very small share of its funding from the federal government. While 85% of public school funding comes from local sources that include tax revenue and parent contributions, less than 1% comes from federal sources.