Special Report

The Best School District in Every State

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Oklahoma: Deer Creek Public Schools
> Location: Oklahoma County
> Annual per student spending: $9,048 (state: $9,323)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 18:1 (state: 16:1)

The Deer Creek Public School District, located in central Oklahoma just outside of Oklahoma City, offers students the best chance at success of any district in the state. While the district is well regarded for its academics, teacher quality, and college prep, many advantages are outside of the classroom.

For example, children growing up in households facing serious financial hardship can be at a considerable disadvantage academically, and in the Deer Creek district, 4.7% of children live in poverty, nearly the smallest share in the state and a fraction of the 18.4% state child poverty rate.

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Oregon: Riverdale School District 51J
> Location: Multnomah County
> Annual per student spending: $15,330 (state: $12,450)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 17:1 (state: 20:1)

Children of college educated-parents are more likely to succeed academically. In Oregon’s Riverdale School District, located in Portland, 82.7% of adults have a bachelor’s degree or higher, more than double the 32.9% share across Oregon. Partially as a result, the district ranks as the best in the state for the likelihood of student success.

Riverdale students also have advantages inside the classroom. According to the school and neighborhood rating website, Niche, the district excels in a number of areas, including college prep, academics, resources and facilities and teacher quality.

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Pennsylvania: Lower Merion School District
> Location: Montgomery County
> Annual per student spending: $25,591 (state: $16,864)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 12:1 (state: 14:1)

The Lower Merion School District, located just outside of Philadelphia, ranks as the best school district in Pennsylvania. At $25,591, annual per pupil spending in the district is nearly $9,000 more than the state average. Partially as a result, class sizes are slightly smaller than they are on average statewide, and the district gets top marks for its resources and facilities, according to school and community data website, Niche.

Children of college-educated parents are more likely to succeed academically, and in the Lower Merion district, more than three in every four adults have a bachelor’s degree, compared to fewer than one-third of adults in Pennsylvania.

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Rhode Island: Narragansett Schools System
> Location: Washington County
> Annual per student spending: $21,254 (state: $16,750)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 14:1 (state: 13:1)

The Narragansett Schools System, located in southern Rhode Island along the coast, ranks as the best school district in the state. Students in the district benefit from relatively high investment in education, as per pupil spending totals $21,254 a year, well above the $16,750 average across Rhode Island.

Outside the classroom, a relatively small share of students are economically disadvantaged. Children growing up in households facing serious financial hardship are more likely to struggle academically, and in the Narragansett district, 6.8% of children live in poverty, one the smaller shares in the state and less than half the 15.4% state child poverty rate.

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South Carolina: York School District 4
> Location: York County
> Annual per student spending: $9,576 (state: $11,140)
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 15:1 (state: 15:1)

Students in South Carolina’s York School District 4, also known as the Fort Mill School District, have the greatest chance of success in the state. One reason is the relative financial security of area families. Children growing up in households facing serious financial hardship can be at a considerable disadvantage academically, and in the Fort Mill district, 3.6% of children live in poverty, the smallest share in the state and a fraction of the 19.0% state child poverty rate.

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