School Districts Where Students Are Least Likely to Succeed by State

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Source: Courtesy of Muskogee Public Schools via Facebook

Oklahoma: Muskogee Public Schools
> Location: Muskogee County
> Per student spending: $7,710
> High school graduation rate: 73%
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 19.5%

Though high per-student spending in school districts is by no means a guarantee students will be more successful than those in lower spending districts, schools in poor districts can sometimes struggle to afford to maintain the building and hire as many teachers as are needed. Oklahoma’s Muskogee Public Schools district spends just $7,710 per student, one of the lower per pupil spending among state public school districts. For contrast, the national district average spending is $11,762 per student. The district also has one of the lowest teacher-to-student ratios of any district in the state and the country as a whole.

Source: Visitor7 / Wikimedia Commons

Oregon: North Bend School District 13
> Location: Coos County
> Per student spending: $5,419
> High school graduation rate: 50%
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 21.3%

High enrollment in Advanced Placement courses in a school district can be a sign students there are excelling at their studies. The average enrollment rate across all school districts nationwide with available data is 18.4% of high school students, but in this district, no students are reported as enrolled in AP classes. The district also has one of the lowest teacher-to-student ratios of any district in the state and the country as a whole.

Source: Courtesy of Reading School District via Facebook

Pennsylvania: Reading School District
> Location: Berks County
> Per student spending: $10,504
> High school graduation rate: 67%
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 9.2%

Children whose parents have a college education have been shown to be more likely to do better throughout school and go on to college themselves. In Pennsylvania’s Reading School district, however, less than 10% of adults have a bachelor’s degree, compared to 31.4% of adults statewide. In the district, 24.2% of preschool-aged children are enrolled in a preschool program, compared to the state’s 46.6% preschool enrollment rate. Early childhood education can contribute to children’s success in school.

Source: Courtesy of Woonsocket Education Department via Facebook

Rhode Island: Woonsocket School District
> Location: Providence County
> Per student spending: $12,969
> High school graduation rate: 67%
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 15.3%

Woonsocket School District in northern Rhode Island ranks as the worst school district in the state. The district’s 67% high school graduation rate is well below the average 85% national graduation rate. The district’s poor outcomes may be due in part to limited resources. For example, there are only 67 teachers for every 1,000 students in the district, the lowest student-to-teacher ratio of any district with available data in the state.

Source: Courtesy of Swansea High School via Facebook

South Carolina: Lexington School District 4
> Location: Lexington County
> Per student spending: $9,968
> High school graduation rate: 72%
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 9.1%

South Carolina’s Lexington School District 4 spends less than $10,000 per student annually, below the average national per pupil spending of $11,762. Greater investment in education can help improve outcomes, and in the district, just 72% of the class of 2017 graduated on time, well below the comparable 85% national graduation rate.