Special Report

The Best School District in Every State

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New Mexico: Los Alamos Public Schools
> Location: Los Alamos County
> Annual per student spending: $11,249 (state: $10,177)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 15:1 (state: 15:1)

The Los Alamos Public School District offers students a far greater chance at success than any other district in New Mexico. The district gets high marks for academics, teacher quality, college prep, and clubs and activities on the Niche website — but not all advantages are inside the classroom.

Children growing up in households facing serious financial hardship can be at a considerable disadvantage academically, and in the Los Alamos district, 2.8% of children live in poverty, by far the smallest share in the state and a fraction of the 22.4% state child poverty rate.

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New York: Byram Hills Central School District
> Location: Westchester County
> Annual per student spending: $35,160 (state: $25,139)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 10:1 (state: 12:1)

The Byram Hills Central School District in New York’s Westchester County, located just north of New York City, offers students the best opportunity for success in the state. At $35,160, annual per pupil spending in the district is $10,000 higher than average per pupil spending across the state. Among other benefits, the greater spending has resulted in smaller class sizes, with one teacher for every 10 students, compared to a statewide average student-teacher ratio of 12-to-1.

Additionally, the district gets top marks for academics, teacher quality, college prep, and resources and facilities on school district and community data website Niche.

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North Carolina: Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools
> Location: Orange County
> Annual per student spending: $13,044 (state: $9,857)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 14:1 (state: 15:1)

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro School Districts outranks all other districts in North Carolina for chances of student success. Children of college-educated parents tend to perform better academically than those raised by parents with lower educational attainment, and across the district, 73.8% of adults have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 30.5% of adults across North Carolina.

Students in the district also benefit from higher than average educational investment. The district spends $13,044 per pupil annually on its schools, compared to the state average of less than $10,000.

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North Dakota: Fargo Public School District 1
> Location: Cass County
> Annual per student spending: $14,327 (state: $14,004)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 13:1 (state: 13:1)

The Fargo Public School District in eastern North Dakota ranks as the best district in the state. The greater likelihood of future success for students in the district is largely a product of conditions outside of the classroom. For example, children of parents with a college education are more likely to succeed academically. In Fargo, 40.5% of adults have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to just 29.5% of adults in North Dakota.

Additionally, the district gets top marks for college prep, health and safety, clubs and activities, and resources and facilities on school district and community data website Niche.

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Ohio: Orange City School District
> Location: Cuyahoga County
> Annual per student spending: $24,437 (state: $13,538)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 14:1 (state: 16:1)

The Orange City School District, located just outside of Cleveland, ranks as the best school district in Ohio. According to the website, Niche, the district excels in a number of areas, including college prep, academics, clubs and activities, resources and facilities and teacher quality.

The district also invests considerably more in its schools than others in Ohio. Partially because it is located in a wealthy area that serves as a strong tax base, per pupil spending in the district totals $24,437 annually, well above the statewide average of $13,538.