36. Oklahoma: Deer Creek School District
> Location: Oklahoma County
> Annual per student spending: $6,819
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 61.6%
Per pupil annual spending in Oklahoma’s Deer Creek public school district is $6,819 — lower than any other district on this list and even slightly lower than the state’s relatively low per pupil spending of $7,940, on average.
However, the district still ranks as best in the state as other components in the index compensate for the low funding. The district has a near perfect high school graduation rate, one of the very few school districts in the country where that is the case. It also has a child poverty rate of just 5.4%, which is far less than the statewide child poverty rate of 19.4%.
37. Oregon: Riverdale School District
> Location: Multnomah County
> Annual per student spending: $14,444
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 82.3%
Oregon’s Riverdale School District is a small district of just two schools and 600 students in the Portland area. Students in the district have several academic advantages both in and out of the classroom. One advantage is higher than average financial resources. Per pupil spending in the district amounts to $14,444 a year, well above the average of $11,264 across the state.
District students are also more likely than most American students to have college-educated parents. Children of parents with a four-year degree are more likely to excel academically, and 82.3% of adults living in the school district’s boundaries have a bachelor’s degree or higher, well above the 32.9% share of adults across the state.
38. Pennsylvania: Tredyffrin-Easttown School District
> Location: Chester County
> Annual per student spending: $17,260
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 78.8%
Per student public school spending in Pennsylvania is $15,798 per year, well above the comparable national spending of $12,201. In the Tredyffrin-Easttown School District, schools have even greater financial resources, spending $17,260 per pupil annually.
Advantages in the district are not limited to the classroom. Serious financial hardship in a household can cause stress that has been shown to detract from academic performance. In the Tredyffrin-Easttown School District, however, just 2.9% of children live below the poverty line, a fraction of the 15.5% statewide child poverty rate.
39. Rhode Island: Barrington Public Schools
> Location: Bristol County
> Annual per student spending: $14,371
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 68.1%
Students in Rhode Island’s Barrington Public Schools are among the most likely in the country to find academic success, based on the measures included in our index. The district has one of the lowest child poverty rates and among the highest adult college attainment and high school graduation rates in the country.
As is often the case for districts on this list, Barrington is a relatively affluent district, with a median household income of $123,021. About one in four households have an annual income of $200,000 or more.
40. South Carolina: Fort Mill School District
> Location: York County
> Annual per student spending: $9,063
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 48.4%
South Carolina’s Fort Mill School District is in York County in the northernmost part of the state, on the outskirts of the Charlotte, North Carolina, metro area. By many measures, the district ranks as a one where students have a high chance for success. It has a more than 90% high school graduation rate, as well as a high adult college attainment rate and a low child poverty rate.