School Districts Where Students Are Least Likely to Succeed by State

Print Email
Source: Courtesy of Eufaula City Schools via Facebook

Alabama: Eufaula City School District
> Location: Barbour County
> Per student spending: $8,851
> High school graduation rate: 80%
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 17.0%

Compared to many of the school districts on this list, Alabama’s Eufaula City School District has a relatively high graduation rate of 80%. Students in the district, however, face serious obstacles to success. Notably, over half of children live in poverty, one of the highest child poverty rates of any district in the country. Children who live in poverty are much more likely than other students to have difficulty in school.

Source: Courtesy of Galena City School District via Facebook

Alaska: Galena City School District
> Location: Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area
> Per student spending: $6,791
> High school graduation rate: 79%
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 31.2%

Only a small share of school districts nationwide have a lower high school graduation rate than that of Galena City School District in Alaska. Just 79% of the class of 2017 graduated on time in the district. The district’s poor outcomes could be due in part to low investment. The district spends less than $7,000 per student annually on average, well below the average national spending of $11,762 per pupil.

Source: Courtesy of Chinle High School via Facebook

Arizona: Chinle Unified District
> Location: Apache County
> Per student spending: $12,758
> High school graduation rate: 63%
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 10.0%

Arizona has one of the worst school systems in the United States, and Chinle Unified District ranks as the worst in the state. Not even two-thirds of high school students graduate on time, compared to the average national graduation rate of 85%. The district also has one of the lower adult college attainment rates in the state — just 10% of district residents 25 or older have a bachelor’s degree, about one-third of the national bachelor’s degree attainment rate.

Source: Courtesy of Pine Bluff School District via Facebook

Arkansas: Pine Bluff School District
> Location: Jefferson County
> Per student spending: $11,111
> High school graduation rate: 70%
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 19.6%

Children growing up in households with parents who lack a college education have been shown to have more trouble succeeding in K-12 and postsecondary education. In the Pine Bluff School District in Arkansas, the worst-ranked in the state, less than 20% of adults have a bachelor’s degree. This is an even lower bachelor’s degree attainment rate than that of Arkansas, which has one of the least highly educated adult populations of any state.

Source: Courtesy of Cutler-Orosi Joint Unified School District via Facebook

California: Cutler-Orosi Joint Unified School District
> Location: Fresno and Tulare counties
> Per student spending: $11,196
> High school graduation rate: 92%
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 5.3%

Poverty can add considerable stress to a child’s life and undermine academic performance. In California’s Cutler-Orosi Joint Unified School District, over 40% of of children live in poverty, one of the highest child poverty rates among U.S. school districts. Students in the district are among the least likely in the country to have parents who graduated from college, an important indicator of success. Just 5.3% of adults in the district have a college degree, one of the lowest shares in both the state and the country.