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The School District Where Students Are Least Likely to Succeed in Every State

Source: Courtesy of Libby High School

26. Montana: Libby Public Schools
> Location: Lincoln County
> Annual per student spending: $10,752
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 22.2%

Students in Montana’s Libby Public Schools district do not benefit from the same level of financial resources as many other students in the state. Per student spending in the district is just $10,752 annually, below both the comparable average spending across state school districts of $11,443 and the average nationwide of $12,201. Greater investment could reduce class sizes. Currently, there are 16.3 students per teacher, well above the state average student-to-teacher ratio of 14.2 to 1.

Source: Courtesy of Winnebago Public School

27. Nebraska: Winnebago Public Schools
> Location: Thurston County
> Annual per student spending: $22,636
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 14.3%

Nebraska’s Winnebago district is relatively small, comprising only two schools that enroll about 600 students. The district’s ranking on this list is due in large part to conditions outside the classroom.

Students who live in poor households are much less likely than those who grow up in more affluent households to succeed in school, as are those whose parents have a college education. In the district 29.5% of school-aged children live below the poverty line, compared to 11.2% of children statewide. Additionally, just 14.3% of adults in the district have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 31.3% of adults across the state.

Source: Courtesy of Nye County School District via Facebook

28. Nevada: Nye County School District
> Location: Nye County
> Annual per student spending: $12,077
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 11.5%

Students in Nevada’s Nye County School District are less likely than those across the state as a whole to enroll in advanced, college level courses before graduating from high school. Just 9.6% of the district’s high schoolers are in an AP course, a far smaller share than the 18.7% of students across Nevada as a whole.

While students in the district benefit from higher than average school spending, other important factors outside of the classroom put many children in the area at a disadvantage academically. For example, children of college-educated adults have been shown to perform better academically, and in the Nye County district, just 11.5% of adults have a bachelor’s degree, less than half the 24.2% share of adults across Nevada.

Source: Courtesy of Google Maps 2014

29. New Hampshire: Berlin Public Schools
> Location: Coos County
> Annual per student spending: $17,578
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 12.3%

Poverty can put enormous stress on school-age children, and that can have a negative effect on academic performance. In New Hampshire’s Berlin Public School district, 26.5% of school age children live below the poverty line, the largest share of any district in the state and well above the 8.8% child poverty rate across New Hampshire as a whole.

Source: Courtesy of Camden City School District

30. New Jersey: Camden City School District
> Location: Camden County
> Annual per student spending: $23,996
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 9.1%

Smaller class sizes have been shown in some cases to have a positive effect on academic achievement. In New Jersey’s Camden City School District, there are 13.6 students per teacher, higher than the 12.2 to 1 statewide student-to-teacher ratio.

Students in the district are less likely than those across the state to enroll in advanced, college level courses before graduating from high school. Just 3.8% of the district’s high schoolers are in an AP course, a far smaller share than the 19.5% of high schoolers who are across New Jersey as a whole.

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