Special Report

Most Affordable Places With the Best Schools

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The wealth of a neighborhood’s residents is one of the largest drivers of education inequality nationwide.

According to the most recent statistics from the Department of Education, property taxes and other local sources account for 44.8% of public school funding in the United States. State and federal sources attempt to close the funding gap caused by wealth disparities at the local level, but a gap remains. Total funding at the poorest 25% of school districts is 3.4% lower than funding at the wealthiest 25% districts nationwide — a difference of about $449 per student.

On the list of the 2020 Best School Districts in America published by school data clearinghouse Niche, which ranks schools districts based on academics, teacher quality, culture and diversity, health and safety, resources and facilities, clubs and activities, sports, and parent and student surveys, many of the top-rated schools districts are in some of America’s less affordable neighborhoods. Click here to see the most affordable housing markets in the country.

While home value, which is closely tied to income — itself a major indicator of educational achievement — is one of the major factors correlating with educational outcomes, it is but one of many important determinants of school quality. There are a number of relatively affordable neighborhoods with high quality schools and educational outcomes.

To determine the most affordable places with the best schools, 24/7 Wall St. ranked the 50 more affordable schools districts based on their position on Niche’s 2020 list of 335 Best School Districts in America. A district is considered affordable if the median home value in the district is below the $193,500 national figure and the ratio of median home value to median household income is below the 3.4 national figure. 

Many of the most affordable districts are places in the Midwest and Northeast where population and economic decline in recent decades have led to relatively affordable property values in a number of districts. 

For more on school rankings, see the states with the best and worst schools and the best public high school in every state.

Click here to see the most affordable places with the best schools

Source: Courtesy of Starpoint High School

50. Starpoint Central School District; Niagara County, NY
> Proficiency rating: 64% (reading); 70% (math)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 13:1
> Median household income: $82,106
> Median home value: $181,600
> Top-ranked school: Starpoint Middle School

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Source: Courtesy of Frenship ISD via Facebook

49. Frenship Independent School District; Hockley County, TX
> Proficiency rating: 80% (reading); 81% (math)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 15:1
> Median household income: $59,111
> Median home value: $151,800
> Top-ranked school: Oak Ridge Elementary School

Source: Courtesy of Haslett Public Schools

48. Haslett Public Schools; Clinton County, MI
> Proficiency rating: 75% (reading); 68% (math)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 18:1
> Median household income: $64,936
> Median home value: $191,400
> Top-ranked school: Murphy Elementary School

Source: Mgreason / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

47. Midland Public Schools; Midland County, MI
> Proficiency rating: 67% (reading); 53% (math)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 19:1
> Median household income: $60,966
> Median home value: $145,800
> Top-ranked school: H.H. Dow High School

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Source: Courtesy of Hurst-Euless-Bedford Independent School District via Facebook

46. Hurst-Euless-Bedford Independent School District; Tarrant County, TX
> Proficiency rating: 81% (reading); 87% (math)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 17:1
> Median household income: $61,232
> Median home value: $166,400
> Top-ranked school: Harwood Junior High School

Source: Courtesy Sabine Pass ISD

45. Sabine Pass Independent School District; Jefferson County, TX
> Proficiency rating: 88% (reading); 92% (math)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 11:1
> Median household income: $52,917
> Median home value: $95,500
> Top-ranked school: Sabine Pass School

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Source: Courtesy of Sharyland ISD via Facebook

44. Sharyland Independent School District; Hidalgo County, TX
> Proficiency rating: 85% (reading); 92% (math)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 16:1
> Median household income: $59,583
> Median home value: $162,800
> Top-ranked school: Harry Shimotsu Elementary School

Source: Leaflet / Wikimedia Commons

43. New Home Independent School District; Lynn County, TX
> Proficiency rating: 90% (reading); 96% (math)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 12:1
> Median household income: $65,833
> Median home value: $152,400
> Top-ranked school: New Home School

Source: Ammodramus / Wikimedia Commons

42. Millard Public Schools; Douglas County, NE
> Proficiency rating: 64% (reading); 78% (math)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 16:1
> Median household income: $85,539
> Median home value: $174,500
> Top-ranked school: Millard North High School

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Source: Courtesy of Klondike Independent School District

41. Klondike Independent School District; Dawson County, TX
> Proficiency rating: 95% (reading); 95% (math)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 12:1
> Median household income: $81,250
> Median home value: $134,400
> Top-ranked school: Klondike ISD

Source: Courtesy of Copley-Fairlawn City Schools via Facebook

40. Copley-Fairlawn City School District; Summit County, OH
> Proficiency rating: 76% (reading); 82% (math)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 17:1
> Median household income: $72,318
> Median home value: $183,300
> Top-ranked school: Fort Island Primary Elementary School

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Source: Tkeator / Wikimedia Commons

39. Vestal Central School District; Broome County, NY
> Proficiency rating: 62% (reading); 66% (math)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 12:1
> Median household income: $65,673
> Median home value: $147,200
> Top-ranked school: Vestal Senior High School

Source: DanielPenfield / Wikimedia Commons

38. Webster Central School District; Monroe County, NY
> Proficiency rating: 58% (reading); 69% (math)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 13:1
> Median household income: $77,715
> Median home value: $186,500
> Top-ranked school: Thomas High School

Source: Courtesy of Hallsville Independent School District via Facebook

37. Hallsville Independent School District; Harrison County, TX
> Proficiency rating: 79% (reading); 87% (math)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 14:1
> Median household income: $61,539
> Median home value: $156,600
> Top-ranked school: Hallsville Intermediate School

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Source: Courtesy Hudson ISD via Facebook

36. Hudson Independent School District; Angelina County, TX
> Proficiency rating: 82% (reading); 90% (math)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 15:1
> Median household income: $49,099
> Median home value: $115,400
> Top-ranked school: Hudson Middle School

Source: Courtesy of School District of West De Pere

35. West De Pere School District; Brown County, WI
> Proficiency rating: 54% (reading); 51% (math)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 16:1
> Median household income: $70,852
> Median home value: $193,300
> Top-ranked school: West De Pere High School

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Source: Courtesy of Greater Latrobe School District via Facebook

34. Greater Latrobe School District; Westmoreland County, PA
> Proficiency rating: 75% (reading); 60% (math)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 16:1
> Median household income: $60,188
> Median home value: $159,100
> Top-ranked school: Baggaley Elementary School

Source: Pixabay

33. Pella Community School District; Jasper County, IA
> Proficiency rating: 88% (reading); 88% (math)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 15:1
> Median household income: $71,025
> Median home value: $193,100
> Top-ranked school: Jefferson Intermediate School

Source: Leaflet / Wikimedia Commons

32. Ira Independent School District; Mitchell County, TX
> Proficiency rating: 92% (reading); 95% (math)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 12:1
> Median household income: $54,010
> Median home value: $103,900
> Top-ranked school: Ira School

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Source: Courtesy of Pleasant Grove Independent School District Texarkana, TX via Facebook

31. Pleasant Grove Independent School District; Bowie County, TX
> Proficiency rating: 88% (reading); 91% (math)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 13:1
> Median household income: $74,930
> Median home value: $172,800
> Top-ranked school: Pleasant Grove Middle School

Source: Courtesy of Minster Local Schools via Facebook

30. Minster Local School District; Auglaize County, OH
> Proficiency rating: 85% (reading); 90% (math)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 17:1
> Median household income: $75,129
> Median home value: $174,200
> Top-ranked school: Minster Elementary School

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Source: EditorE / Wikimedia Commons

29. Amherst Central School District; Erie County, NY
> Proficiency rating: 63% (reading); 69% (math)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 11:1
> Median household income: $78,194
> Median home value: $154,500
> Top-ranked school: Smallwood Drive School

Source: GilbertThompson / Wikimedia Commons

28. Clinton Public School District; Hinds County, MS
> Proficiency rating: 51% (reading); 58% (math)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 20:1
> Median household income: $57,379
> Median home value: $157,500
> Top-ranked school: Eastside Elementary School

Source: Courtesy of West Ottawa Public Schools via Facebook

27. West Ottawa Public School District; Ottawa County, MI
> Proficiency rating: 58% (reading); 41% (math)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 17:1
> Median household income: $63,489
> Median home value: $165,200
> Top-ranked school: Lakewood Elementary School

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Source: Bobak Ha'Eri / Wikimedia Commons

26. Decorah Community School District; Allamakee County, IA
> Proficiency rating: 88% (reading); 88% (math)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 12:1
> Median household income: $61,772
> Median home value: $178,600
> Top-ranked school: Decorah High School

Source: Courtesy of Avon Community School Corporation via Facebook

25. Avon Community School Corporation; Hendricks County, IN
> Proficiency rating: 74% (reading); 65% (math)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 22:1
> Median household income: $80,209
> Median home value: $170,400
> Top-ranked school: Maple Elementary School

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Source: Smallbones / Wikimedia Commons

24. York Suburban School District; York County, PA
> Proficiency rating: 82% (reading); 68% (math)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 14:1
> Median household income: $64,936
> Median home value: $161,100
> Top-ranked school: Indian Rock Elementary School

Source: Chris Flook / Wikimedia Commons

23. Northwest Allen County Schools; Allen County, IN
> Proficiency rating: 77% (reading); 70% (math)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 18:1
> Median household income: $84,098
> Median home value: $184,900
> Top-ranked school: Oak View Elementary School

Source: Courtesy of Mayfield City Schools via Facebook

22. Mayfield City School District; Cuyahoga County, OH
> Proficiency rating: 75% (reading); 75% (math)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 09:1
> Median household income: $62,136
> Median home value: $187,500
> Top-ranked school: Mayfield High School

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Source: DanielPenfield / Wikimedia Commons

21. Fairport Central School District; Monroe County, NY
> Proficiency rating: 60% (reading); 70% (math)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 12:1
> Median household income: $80,314
> Median home value: $191,600
> Top-ranked school: Fairpoint Senior High School

Source: Courtesy Ocean Springs School District / Facebook

20. Ocean Springs School District; Jackson County, MS
> Proficiency rating: 54% (reading); 56% (math)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 14:1
> Median household income: $59,836
> Median home value: $152,000
> Top-ranked school: Ocean Springs High School

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Source: Courtesy Greenwood School District / Facebook

19. Greenwood School District; Sebastian County, AR
> Proficiency rating: 71% (reading); 64% (math)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 16:1
> Median household income: $61,754
> Median home value: $151,400
> Top-ranked school: Greenwood Junior High School

Source: Courtesy Portage Public Schools / Facebook

18. Portage Public Schools; Kalamazoo County, MI
> Proficiency rating: 65% (reading); 55% (math)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 18:1
> Median household income: $66,344
> Median home value: $163,300
> Top-ranked school: Moorsbridge Elementary School

Source: Courtesy Wall Independent School District

17. Wall Independent School District; Tom Green County, TX
> Proficiency rating: 95% (reading); 97% (math)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 10:1
> Median household income: $83,993
> Median home value: $183,800
> Top-ranked school: Wall Middle School

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Source: Courtesy New Hartford Central School District / Facebook

16. New Hartford Central School District; Herkimer County, NY
> Proficiency rating: 66% (reading); 68% (math)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 12:1
> Median household income: $72,532
> Median home value: $168,200
> Top-ranked school: New Hartford Senior High School

Source: Courtesy Plainfield Community School Corporation / Facebook

15. Plainfield Community School Corporation; Hendricks County, IN
> Proficiency rating: 85% (reading); 77% (math)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 19:1
> Median household income: $63,797
> Median home value: $168,000
> Top-ranked school: Plainfield Community Middle School

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Source: Courtesy Jackson Local School District / Facebook

14. Jackson Local School District; Stark County, OH
> Proficiency rating: 83% (reading); 82% (math)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 23:1
> Median household income: $73,775
> Median home value: $191,700
> Top-ranked school: Sauder Elementary School

Source: Courtesy West Irondequoit Central School District / Facebook

13. West Irondequoit Central School District; Monroe County, NY
> Proficiency rating: 68% (reading); 71% (math)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 13:1
> Median household income: $63,626
> Median home value: $127,900
> Top-ranked school: Irondequoit High School

Source: Courtesy of Bentonville Schools via Facebook

12. Bentonville Public Schools; Benton County, AR
> Proficiency rating: 72% (reading); 65% (math)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 14:1
> Median household income: $75,453
> Median home value: $179,700
> Top-ranked school: Fulbright Junior High School

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Source: Courtesy St. Joseph Public Schools

11. St. Joseph Public Schools; Berrien County, MI
> Proficiency rating: 72% (reading); 64% (math)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 22:1
> Median household income: $66,111
> Median home value: $185,200
> Top-ranked school: Brown School

Source: Courtesy Central Columbia School District / Facebook

10. Central Columbia School District; Columbia County, PA
> Proficiency rating: 79% (reading); 67% (math)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 14:1
> Median household income: $53,792
> Median home value: $159,400
> Top-ranked school: Central Columbia Middle School

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Source: Courtesy Midway Independent School District

9. Midway Independent School District; McLennan County, TX
> Proficiency rating: 86% (reading); 89% (math)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 16:1
> Median household income: $73,949
> Median home value: $173,100
> Top-ranked school: South Bosque Elementary School

Source: Courtesy Petal School District / Facebook

8. Petal School District; Forrest County, MS
> Proficiency rating: 55% (reading); 69% (math)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 15:1
> Median household income: $56,655
> Median home value: $144,800
> Top-ranked school: Petal Upper Elementary School

Source: Courtesy Pattonville R-III School District / Facebook

7. Pattonville R-III School District; St. Louis County, MO
> Proficiency rating: 68% (reading); 52% (math)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 13:1
> Median household income: $55,866
> Median home value: $147,800
> Top-ranked school: Bridgeway Elementary School

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Source: Courtesy Kimberly Area School District

6. Kimberly Area School District; Calumet County, WI
> Proficiency rating: 64% (reading); 62% (math)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 16:1
> Median household income: $72,155
> Median home value: $179,800
> Top-ranked school: Kimberly High School

Source: Courtesy Blue Springs School District / Facebook

5. Blue Springs R-IV School District; Jackson County, MO
> Proficiency rating: 77% (reading); 68% (math)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 17:1
> Median household income: $71,426
> Median home value: $163,400
> Top-ranked school: Lucy Franklin Elementary School

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Source: Courtesy Brownsburg Community School Corporation / Facebook

4. Brownsburg Community School Corporation; Hendricks County, IN
> Proficiency rating: 87% (reading); 84% (math)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 17:1
> Median household income: $79,391
> Median home value: $179,800
> Top-ranked school: Brownsburg West Middle School

Source: Daniel Penfield / Wikimedia Commons

3. Penfield Central School District; Monroe County, NY
> Proficiency rating: 71% (reading); 77% (math)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 12:1
> Median household income: $80,926
> Median home value: $177,600
> Top-ranked school: Cobbles Elementary School

Source: Michael Barera / Wikimedia Commons

2. Highland Park Independent School District; Potter County, TX
> Proficiency rating: 97% (reading); 98% (math)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 15:1
> Median household income: $60,417
> Median home value: $84,300
> Top-ranked school: Highland Park High School

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Source: Courtesy Brighton Central School District / Facebook

1. Brighton Central School District; Monroe County, NY
> Proficiency rating: 71% (reading); 70% (math)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 12:1
> Median household income: $76,205
> Median home value: $181,700
> Top-ranked school: Brighton High School

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