Special Report

The Best School District in Every State

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Virginia: Falls Church City Public Schools
> Location: Falls Church city
> Annual per student spending: $19,222 (state: $12,641)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 15:1 (state: 15:1)

The Falls Church City Public School District, located just outside of Washington D.C., ranks as the best district for student success in Virginia. The district is a wealthy one, with a median annual household income of $127,610. As a result, it has a strong tax base to draw from to fund operations. School spending in the area totals over $19,222 per pupil, compared to $12,641 across Virginia. Additionally, according to the school and neighborhood rating website, Niche, the district excels in a number of areas, including college prep and academics.

Children in the area are also less likely to live in financially struggling households — a factor that can hinder academic success. Only 2.8% of children in the area live below the poverty line, compared to Virginia’s 12.5% child poverty rate.

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Washington: Mercer Island School District
> Location: King County
> Annual per student spending: $14,986 (state: $14,223)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 18:1 (state: 18:1)

Mercer Island School District is located on the island in Lake Washington, which separates Bellevue from Seattle. The district ranks as the best in the state, largely due to conditions outside the classroom. For example, children of college-educated parents are more likely to succeed academically, and in the district, 78.2% of adults have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 35.3% of adults in Washington.

Children living in households that are struggling financially are also less likely to succeed academically. In the district, only 3.0% of children in the area live below the poverty line, compared to Washington’s 11.2% child poverty rate.

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West Virginia: Monongalia School District
> Location: Monongalia County
> Annual per student spending: $12,034 (state: $12,010)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 15:1 (state: 14:1)

The Monongalia School District, located in northern West Virginia, ranks as the best in the state, largely due to conditions outside the classroom. For example, children of college-educated parents are more likely to succeed academically, and in the district, adults are more than twice as likely to have a bachelor’s degree or higher as the typical adult in West Virginia.

Additionally, according to the school and neighborhood rating website, Niche, the district excels in a number of areas, including college prep, academics, and teacher quality.

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Wisconsin: Gibraltar Area School District
> Location: Door County
> Annual per student spending: $21,292 (state: $12,598)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 10:1 (state: 14:1)

The Gibraltar Area School District, located on Wisconsin’s Door Peninsula, ranks as the best in the state for student likelihood of success. The district receives high marks on school review website Niche for college prep, academics, and teacher quality. Students in the district also benefit from small class sizes as the local student-teacher ratio of 10-to-1 is below the state average of 14-to-1.

School spending is also higher in the district on a per pupil basis than it is in much of the state. The Gibraltar Area School District spends $21,292 per student annually, compared to the average spending across the state of less than $13,000 per student per year.

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Wyoming: Teton County School District 1
> Location: Teton County
> Annual per student spending: $18,496 (state: $16,304)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 12:1 (state: 13:1)

The Teton County School District, located in the ski-resort community of Jackson, Wyoming, ranks as the best district for student success in the state. The district is a wealthy one, with a median household income of $84,678. As a result, it has a strong tax base to draw from to fund operations. School spending in the area totals over $18,486 per pupil, compared to $16,304 across Wyoming. Additionally, according to the school and neighborhood rating website, Niche, the district excels in a number of areas, including college prep, teacher quality, and academics.

Children living in households that are struggling financially are also less likely to succeed academically. In the district, children are half as likely to live below the poverty line as the typical child in Wyoming.