Every child is born to a unique set of circumstances. And it is these different social, familial, economic, environmental, and many other factors, that help shape who they become. While these conditions are countless, a handful of factors play an outsized role in a child’s development and likelihood for future success — including academic success.
Whether or not a child succeeds academically can depend considerably on school quality. A student who falls behind in one school district might have excelled academically in another. By no means limited to the classroom, many of the strongest influences on a child’s future are in the home environment, and the resources available or absent there.
The Greater Johnstown School District, located in the southwestern section of Pennsylvania, ranks as the worst district in the state. Niche gives the district low marks for academics and college prep. Additionally, according to standardized test scores, 31% of local students are proficient in reading, and only 15% are proficient in math.
Many students also face considerable disadvantages outside of the classroom. Children growing up in financially insecure households are less likely to succeed academically, and in the Johnstown district, 42.7% of children live below the poverty line, more than double the 15.9% share of children across the state who do.
The four measures used to determine the worst school district in every state are: the child poverty rate, the teacher-to-student ratio, per-pupil spending, and the share of adults with a college education. All data came from the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Center for Education Statistics. This is the worst school district in every state.
|State||District||Enrollment||Annual per-pupil spending ($)||Student-teacher ratio||Adults with a 4-yr. degree or higher (%)|
|Alabama||Eufaula City School District||5,427||$5,298||38:1||16.5%|
|Alaska||Lower Yukon School District||2,006||$31,575||16:1||3.8%|
|Arizona||Gadsden School District 32||5,274||$7,649||36:1||N/A|
|Arkansas||Forrest City School District||2,531||$11,655||16:1||10.2%|
|California||Mendota Unified School District||3,543||$12,746||N/A||2.4%|
|Colorado||Las Animas School District RE-1||2,309||$8,049||60:1||9.7%|
|Connecticut||Waterbury School District||18,751||$18,110||13:1||15.7%|
|Delaware||Woodbridge School District||2,526||$15,027||15:1||14.3%|
|Florida||Hamilton County School District||1,610||$11,212||20:1||7.9%|
|Georgia||Treutlen County School District||1,122||$10,631||13:1||12.4%|
|Hawaii||Hawaii Department of Education||181,278||$16,132||15:1||33.0%|
|Idaho||Oneida County School District 351||2,464||$5,345||21:1||17.1%|
|Illinois||Prairie Hills Elementary School District 144||2,802||$13,082||20:1||N/A|
|Indiana||Union School Corporation||3,371||$4,188||22:1||16.3%|
|Iowa||Clayton Ridge Community School District||1,020||$9,536||26:1||17.7%|
|Kansas||Humboldt Unified School District 258||955||$9,187||22:1||15.4%|
|Kentucky||McCreary County School District||2,878||$11,066||17:1||7.2%|
|Louisiana||Madison Parish School District||1,243||$12,457||21:1||12.8%|
|Maine||School Administrative District 68||1,015||$4,451||20:1||23.5%|
|Maryland||Baltimore City Public Schools||79,297||$15,888||16:1||31.9%|
|Massachusetts||Chelsea School District||6,088||$15,676||15:1||18.5%|
|Michigan||River Rouge School District||2,279||$11,349||26:1||8.9%|
|Minnesota||Worthington Public School District||3,904||$10,566||22:1||15.3%|
|Mississippi||North Bolivar Consolidated School District||937||$10,199||15:1||16.5%|
|Missouri||Hayti R-II School District||667||$9,945||13:1||5.3%|
|Montana||Browning H S Dist 9||615||$12,462||16:1||N/A|
|Nebraska||Lexington Public Schools||3,104||$11,971||15:1||12.5%|
|Nevada||White Pine County School District||1,655||$10,543||28:1||13.2%|
|New Hampshire||Berlin School District||1,159||$17,739||12:1||12.4%|
|New Jersey||Trenton City School District||14,500||$16,791||16:1||12.2%|
|New Mexico||West Las Vegas Public Schools||1,539||$12,455||16:1||13.4%|
|New York||Niagara Falls City School District||7,159||$18,524||20:1||18.7%|
|North Carolina||Robeson County Schools||22,044||$9,979||16:1||13.7%|
|North Dakota||Williams County School District 8||653||$10,227||26:1||N/A|
|Ohio||Clearview Local School District||1,654||$9,770||20:1||11.9%|
|Oklahoma||Carnegie Public Schools||554||$11,060||14:1||14.4%|
|Oregon||Marcola School District||593||$9,521||38:1||19.0%|
|Pennsylvania||Greater Johnstown School District||2,984||$13,558||15:1||12.4%|
|Rhode Island||Central Falls School District||2,695||$17,432||14:1||8.1%|
|South Carolina||Dillon School District 4||4,134||$9,510||17:1||10.5%|
|South Dakota||Todd County School District 66-1||2,099||$13,485||13:1||15.6%|
|Tennessee||Union County School District||4,509||$7,852||20:1||9.9%|
|Texas||Edgewood Independent School District||10,234||$9,922||16:1||4.6%|
|Utah||Uintah School District||7,257||$8,365||24:1||15.8%|
|Vermont||St. Johnsbury Town School District||1,070||$13,187||23:1||N/A|
|Virginia||Colonial Beach Public Schools||671||$11,289||17:1||26.2%|
|Washington||Mary M. Knight School District||1,658||$10,469||39:1||14.7%|
|West Virginia||McDowell County School District||3,063||$13,070||13:1||5.4%|
|Wisconsin||Milwaukee School District||75,431||$14,145||17:1||24.6%|
|Wyoming||Niobrara County School District 1||809||$14,656||13:1||18.2%|
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