Few municipal services in the United States are as uneven as the public school system. The quality of schools across the country largely depends on local property values, with the best school districts in the wealthiest parts of the nation and the worst districts in the poorest.
In school districts with the most funding, per-pupil expenditure can be dozens of times higher than per-pupil spending in districts with the least funding. Many of the districts that spend the most per student are in Long Island, New York, where revenue from property taxes are high due to high property values, and in Alaska, where high transportation costs significantly increase the cost of running a school district.
To identify the 11 American school districts spending the most per pupil, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed annual per pupil expenditures across the 9,545 U.S. school districts serving at least 250 students in the 2015-16 school year from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of School System Finances.