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Selecting where your child will go to school is one of the most important decisions a parent faces. Though everyone knows the value of an education, not everyone realizes how much the school a child attends can impact their child’s future.

RELATED: These are the best elementary schools in every state

With that in mind, the experts at StartClass, an education research site by Graphiq, found the highest-performing regular school district in every state.

To do this, the data scientists ranked the school districts by their StartClass Rating: a rating from one to 10 that takes into account each district’s graduation rates, test scores, and student-teacher ratios from the 2014-2015 school year, as well as arrest and suspension rates from the 2013-2014 school year. In cases where certain states did not report data from 2015, 2014 data was used. Additionally, the presence or lack of Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate programs affects the rating. States are ordered alphabetically.


The regular school district in each state with the highest StartClass Rating was deemed the best school district. Regular districts have their own superintendents and administrators. Hawaii and the District of Columbia only have one regular school district each.

RELATED: See your state’s best up-and-coming school district

New Hampshire and Vermont do not have regular school districts. For these states, StartClass gave ratings for component districts: districts that share superintendents and administrators with other districts throughout the state.

It is interesting to note that some of the highest-performing districts across the country have students that come from affluent backgrounds. Families in Saratoga Union Elementary School District in California, and Riverdale School District 51j in Oregon, have an average median income of over $210,000. Parents who make more money are able to invest more in their children and their neighborhood’s schools, providing funds for improved resources.

Note: No special education or charter districts were included by StartClass.

Alabama: Mountain Brook City School District

  • Rating: 9.1
  • Number of schools: 6
    • Grade span: K-12
  • Student-teacher ratio: 11.7-to-1

Alaska: Skagway City School District

  • Rating: 8.4
  • Number of schools: 1
    • Grade span: Pre-K-12
  • Student-teacher ratio: 11.7-to-1

Arizona: Apache Elementary School District

  • Rating: 8.7
  • Number of schools: 1
    • Grade span: Pre-K-8
  • Student-teacher ratio: N/A

Arkansas: Fayetteville School District

  • Rating: 7.9
  • Number of schools: 14
    • Grade span: K-12
  • Student-teacher ratio: 14.2-to-1

California: Saratoga Union Elementary School District

  • Rating: 9.4
  • Number of schools: 4
    • Grade span: K-8
  • Student-teacher ratio: 19.7-to-1

Colorado: Dolores County School District RE-2J

  • Rating: 8.8
  • Number of schools: 3
    • Grade span: Pre-K-12
  • Student-teacher ratio: 14-to-1

Connecticut: Kent School District

  • Rating: 9.3
  • Number of schools: 1
    • Grade span: Pre-K-8
  • Student-teacher ratio: 9.5-to-1

Delaware: Polytech School District

  • Rating: 7.7
  • Number of schools: 1
    • Grade span: 9-12
  • Student-teacher ratio: 10.7-to-1

District of Columbia: District of Columbia Public Schools

  • Rating: 4.9
  • Number of schools: 129
    • Grade span: Pre-K-12
  • Student-teacher ratio: 13.3-to-1

Florida: St. Johns County School District

  • Rating: 8.3
  • Number of schools: 49
    • Grade span: Pre-K-12
  • Student-teacher ratio: 13.9-to-1

Georgia: Forsyth County School District

  • Rating: 8.8
  • Number of schools: 36
    • Grade span: Pre-K-12
  • Student-teacher ratio: 17.1-to-1

Hawaii: Hawaii Department of Education

  • Rating: 5.7
  • Number of schools: 290
    • Grade span: Pre-K-12
  • Student-teacher ratio: 15.9-to-1

Idaho: Genesee Joint District

  • Rating: 8.8
  • Number of schools: 1
    • Grade span: Pre-K-12
  • Student-teacher ratio: 15.4-to-1

Illinois: Kenilworth School District 38

  • Rating: 9.3
  • Number of schools: 1
    • Grade span: Pre-K-8
  • Student-teacher ratio: 8.9-to-1

Indiana: Zionsville Community Schools

  • Rating: 9.3
  • Number of schools: 8
    • Grade span: Pre-K-12
  • Student-teacher ratio: 19.1-to-1

Iowa: Delwood Community School District

  • Rating: 9.6
  • Number of schools: 1
    • Grade span: Pre-K-12
  • Student-teacher ratio: 18-to-1

Kansas: West Elk School District

  • Rating: 9.1
  • Number of schools: 1
    • Grade span: Pre-K-12
  • Student-teacher ratio: 7.7-to-1

Kentucky: Anchorage Independent School District

  • Rating: 9.5
  • Number of schools: 1
    • Grade span: K-8
  • Student-teacher ratio: 9.1-to-1

Louisiana: Zachary Community School District

  • Rating: 8.8
  • Number of schools: 8
    • Grade span: Pre-K-12
  • Student-teacher ratio: 15-to-1

Maine: Hope School Department

  • Rating: 8.8
  • Number of schools: 1
    • Grade span: K-12
  • Student-teacher ratio: 11.7-to-1

Maryland: Carroll County Public Schools

  • Rating: 8.3
  • Number of schools: 47
    • Grade span: Pre-K-12
  • Student-teacher ratio: 14.1-to-1

Massachusetts: Carlisle School District

  • Rating: 9.1
  • Number of schools: 1
    • Grade span: Pre-K-8
  • Student-teacher ratio: 11.2-to-1

Michigan: Forest Hills Public Schools

  • Rating: 8.6
  • Number of schools: 17
    • Grade span: Pre-K-12
  • Student-teacher ratio: 18-to-1

Minnesota: Mahtomedi Public School District

  • Rating: 9.1
  • Number of schools: 6
    • Grade span: Pre-K-12
  • Student-teacher ratio: 18.3-to-1

Mississippi: Union County School District

  • Rating: 8.8
  • Number of schools: 4
    • Grade span: K-12
  • Student-teacher ratio: 16.6-to-1

Missouri: Lindbergh Schools

  • Rating: 9
  • Number of schools: 8
    • Grade span: K-12
  • Student-teacher ratio: 16.3-to-1

Montana: Frontier Elementary School District

  • Rating: 9.7
  • Number of schools: 2
    • Grade span: Pre-K-8
  • Student-teacher ratio: 14.3-to-1

Nebraska: Cambridge Public Schools

  • Rating: 9.5
  • Number of schools: 2
    • Grade span: Pre-K-12
  • Student-teacher ratio: 9.9-to-1

Nevada: Storey County School District

  • Rating: 9.4
  • Number of schools: 4
    • Grade span: Pre-K-12
  • Student-teacher ratio: 13.2-to-1

New Hampshire: Hampton Falls School District

  • Rating: 9.5
  • Number of schools: 1
    • Grade span: K-8
  • Student-teacher ratio: 10.5-to-1

New Jersey: Essex Fells School District

  • Rating: 9.7
  • Number of schools: 1
    • Grade span: K-6
  • Student-teacher ratio: 7.3-to-1

New Mexico: Los Alamos Public Schools

  • Rating: 7.8
  • Number of schools: 7
    • Grade span: Pre-K-12
  • Student-teacher ratio: 13.7-to-1

New York: Syosset Central School District

  • Rating: 8.9
  • Number of schools: 10
    • Grade span: K-12
  • Student-teacher ratio: 10.7-to-1

North Carolina: Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School District

  • Rating: 8.5
  • Number of schools: 20
    • Grade span: Pre-K-12
  • Student-teacher ratio: 13-to-1

North Dakota: Wyndmere 42 School District

  • Rating: 8.9
  • Number of schools: 2
    • Grade span: Pre-K-12
  • Student-teacher ratio: 10.5-to-1

Ohio: Madeira City School District

  • Rating: 9.7
  • Number of schools: 3
    • Grade span: Pre-K-12
  • Student-teacher ratio: 15.5-to-1

Oklahoma: Cottonwood School District

  • Rating: 9.7
  • Number of schools: 1
    • Grade span: Pre-K-8
  • Student-teacher ratio: 11-to-1

Oregon: Riverdale School District 51j

  • Rating: 9.3
  • Number of schools: 2
    • Grade span: K-12
  • Student-teacher ratio: 16.2-to-1

Pennsylvania: North Allegheny School District

  • Rating: 9.3
  • Number of schools: 13
    • Grade span: K-12
  • Student-teacher ratio: 15.3-to-1

Rhode Island: Barrington School District

  • Rating: 8.1
  • Number of schools: 6
    • Grade span: Pre-K-12
  • Student-teacher ratio: 14.5-to-1

South Carolina: South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics

  • Rating: 9.7
  • Number of schools: 1
    • Grade span: 11-12
  • Student-teacher ratio: N/A

South Dakota: Brandon Valley School District 49-2

  • Rating: 8.2
  • Number of schools: 6
    • Grade span: Pre-K-12
  • Student-teacher ratio: 16.9-to-1

Tennessee: Williamson County School District

  • Rating: 9.1
  • Number of schools: 41
    • Grade span: Pre-K-12
  • Student-teacher ratio: 15.8-to-1

Texas: Westhoff Independent School District

  • Rating: 9.8
  • Number of schools: 2
    • Grade span: Pre-K-8
  • Student-teacher ratio: 11-to-1

Utah: Cache County School District

  • Rating: 7.7
  • Number of schools: 27
    • Grade span: Pre-K-12
  • Student-teacher ratio: 25.4-to-1

Vermont: Weybridge School District

  • Rating: 9
  • Number of schools: 1
    • Grade span: Pre-K-6
  • Student-teacher ratio: 9-to-1

Virginia: Falls Church City Public Schools

  • Rating: 9.3
  • Number of schools: 4
    • Grade span: Pre-K-12
  • Student-teacher ratio: 11.3-to-1

Washington: Rosalia School District

  • Rating: 9.1
  • Number of schools: 1
    • Grade span: Pre-K-12
  • Student-teacher ratio: 11.1-to-1

West Virginia: Ohio County Schools

  • Rating: 7
  • Number of schools: 13
    • Grade span: Pre-K-12
  • Student-teacher ratio: 13.7-to-1

Wisconsin: Swallow School District

  • Rating: 9.1
  • Number of schools: 1
    • Grade span: Pre-K-8
  • Student-teacher ratio: 16.9-to-1

Wyoming: Lincoln County School District #2

  • Rating: 8.2
  • Number of schools: 9
    • Grade span: K-12
  • Student-teacher ratio: 13.6-to-1

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Bret Greenacre, StartClass |