School Districts Where Students Are Least Likely to Succeed by State

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Source: Courtesy of Gallup McKinley County Schools via Facebook

New Mexico: Gallup-McKinley County Schools
> Location: McKinley County
> Per student spending: $10,649
> High school graduation rate: 67%
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 11.6%

As a whole, New Mexico has one of the worst education systems in the country, and not surprisingly, the district where students are the least likely to succeed in the state compares unfavorably to the vast majority of districts nationwide. Studies have shown that children who grow up in poverty are more likely to struggle in school and less likely to attend college than their peers from wealthier homes. Across the country, 17.3% of school-aged children live in poverty, but in the Gallup-McKinley County Schools district, 45.5% do, more than double the national poverty rate among 5-17 year olds.

Source: Courtesy of the United States Marine Corps

New York: Utica City School District
> Location: Oneida County
> Per student spending: $15,193
> High school graduation rate: 68%
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 17.6%

Just 68% of students in the class of 2017 graduated on time in New York’s Utica City School District — well below the comparable 85% graduation rate nationwide. Early childhood education can better prepare students for success later in their academic career, and in the Utica school district, just 38.7% of 3- and 4-year olds are enrolled in preschool, compared to preschool enrollment rate of 57.8% across the state as a whole.

Source: Courtesy of Public Schools of Robeson County via Facebook

North Carolina: Robeson County Schools
> Location: Robeson County
> Per student spending: $8,367
> High school graduation rate: 87%
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 12.8%

Studies have shown that children who grow up in poverty face a number of serious obstacles to obtaining a quality education. Across the country, 17.3% of school-aged children live in poverty, but in the Robeson County Schools district, 42.0% do, one of the higher child poverty rates in the state and the country. High per-student spending is by no means a guarantee students will be more successful than those in lower-spending districts, but schools in districts that spend less often struggle more than some more affluent districts. Schools in Robeson County spend $8,367 per student, well below the national district average spending of $11,762 per pupil.

Source: Courtesy of Mandan Public School District via Facebook

North Dakota: Mandan Public School District 1
> Location: Morton County
> Per student spending: $11,789
> High school graduation rate: 81%
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 27.5%

In the vast majority of school districts in North Dakota, there are over 80 teachers for every 1,000 students. The Mandan Public School District 1 is one of only a handful where there are fewer than 70 teachers for every 1,000 students. The district also spends $11,789 per student annually, in line with the national average per pupil expenditure but less than spending in most other districts in the state.

Source: Courtesy of Lima City Schools via Facebook

Ohio: Lima City School District
> Location: Allen County
> Per student spending: $12,181
> High school graduation rate: 63%
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 11.4%

In the Lima City School District, the district where students are the least likely to succeed in Ohio, just 63% of high school students graduated on time in 2017, one of the lowest graduation rates in both the state and the country. The average high school graduation rate across all U.S. districts with available data is 85%.