Few public services are as uneven in quality as the U.S. public school system. Because school budgets are largely funded by property taxes, the quality of public schools is often a function of neighborhood wealth rather than student need, creating large disparities in educational outcomes. While students in some parts of the country have major advantages, students in poorer areas are often left behind.
The majority of the nation’s best public schools are concentrated in just a few wealthy states. While just four states — Illinois, New York, New Jersey, and Texas — are home to half of the nation’s 50 top-ranked public schools, every state has at least one high school that exceeds national averages in outcomes.
To determine the best public high school in every state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed rankings for all public schools from school and neighborhood data clearinghouse Niche.