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The Best School District in Every State AJ Mast/AP IMAGES FOR SKYPE

For parents, expecting parents, non-parents, and non-expecting parents alike, school district quality is a key consideration when choosing an area to live in. Not only does a great school district greatly increase a child’s chances of future success, but neighborhoods with better schools tend to have higher home values. 

What Makes a Good School District? 

From the availability of after-school programs to modern facilities, many qualities distinguish the fabulous from the not-so-fabulous when it comes to school systems. 

Of course, different schools have different strengths: For example, some have a skill for hiring and retaining top teachers, while others promote extra-curricular activities and prioritize funding for such programs. Still others — particularly public high schools focus on test scores and graduation rates. The best school district is one with schools that combine all these traits. 

The Best School District in Every State 

So! Without further ado, here are the very best school districts, according to 2021 data from Niche analzed by Stacker: 1

Alabama: Madison City Schools

* Location: Madison, AL

* Student populations: 11,290

* Student-to-teacher ratio: 18:1

* Reading proficiency: 74%

* Math proficiency: 76%

* Graduation rate: 96%

* Spending per student: $10,075

* Average teacher salary: $56,964

Alaska: Skagway School District

* Location: Skagway, AK

* Student populations: 141

* Student-to-teacher ratio: 10:1

* Reading proficiency: 87%

* Math proficiency: 82%

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* Graduation rate: data unavailable

* Spending per student: $27,098

* Average teacher salary: data unavailable

Arizona: Catalina Foothills Unified School District

* Location: Tucson, AZ

* Student populations: 5,427

* Student-to-teacher ratio: 19:1

* Reading proficiency: 70%

* Math proficiency: 69%

* Graduation rate: 98%

* Spending per student: $9,023

* Average teacher salary: $45,311

Arkansas: Haas Hall Academy

* Location: Fayetteville, AR

* Student populations: 941

* Student-to-teacher ratio: 16:1

* Reading proficiency: 91%

* Math proficiency: 90%

* Graduation rate: 95%

* Spending per student: $8,247

* Average teacher salary: $19,430

California: Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union High School District

* Location: Los Gatos, CA

* Student populations: 3,520

* Student-to-teacher ratio: 22:1

* Reading proficiency: 84%

* Math proficiency: 74%

* Graduation rate: 97%

* Spending per student: $22,373

* Average teacher salary: $109,507

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Colorado: Cheyenne Mountain School District No. 12

* Location: Colorado Springs, CO

* Student populations: 5,274

* Student-to-teacher ratio: 15:1

* Reading proficiency: 69%

* Math proficiency: 62%

* Graduation rate: 95%

* Spending per student: $12,794

* Average teacher salary: $49,119

Connecticut: Westport School District

* Location: Westport, CT

* Student populations: 5,509

* Student-to-teacher ratio: 11:1

* Reading proficiency: 85%

* Math proficiency: 81%

* Graduation rate: 99%

* Spending per student: $24,436

* Average teacher salary: $78,283

Delaware: Cape Henlopen School District

* Location: Lewes, DE

* Student populations: 5,643

* Student-to-teacher ratio: 13:1

* Reading proficiency: 63%

* Math proficiency: 54%

* Graduation rate: 87%

* Spending per student: $27,295

* Average teacher salary: $54,163

Florida: St. Johns County School District

* Location: St Augustine, FL

* Student populations: 41,897

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* Student-to-teacher ratio: 18:1

* Reading proficiency: 74%

* Math proficiency: 79%

* Graduation rate: 93%

* Spending per student: $10,614

* Average teacher salary: $40,715

Georgia: Buford City Schools

* Location: Buford, GA

* Student populations: 4,966

* Student-to-teacher ratio: 12:1

* Reading proficiency: 65%

* Math proficiency: 75%

* Graduation rate: 93%

* Spending per student: $14,134

* Average teacher salary: $62,865

Hawaii: Hawaii Department of Education

* Location: Honolulu, HI

* Student populations: 181,278

* Student-to-teacher ratio: 15:1

* Reading proficiency: 54%

* Math proficiency: 42%

* Graduation rate: 84%

* Spending per student: $15,305

* Average teacher salary: $64,871

Idaho: McCall-Donnelly School District

* Location: Mccall, ID

* Student populations: 1,285

* Student-to-teacher ratio: 16:1

* Reading proficiency: 76%

* Math proficiency: 64%

* Graduation rate: 92%

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* Spending per student: $12,644

* Average teacher salary: $63,957

Illinois: Adlai E. Stevenson High School District No. 125

* Location: Lincolnshire, IL

* Student populations: 4,265

* Student-to-teacher ratio: 15:1

* Reading proficiency: 77%

* Math proficiency: 78%

* Graduation rate: 96%

* Spending per student: $27,205

* Average teacher salary: $93,403

Indiana: West Lafayette Community School Corporation

* Location: West Lafayette, IN

* Student populations: 2,411

* Student-to-teacher ratio: 17:1

* Reading proficiency: 84%

* Math proficiency: 80%

* Graduation rate: 95%

* Spending per student: data unavailable

* Average teacher salary: data unavailable

Iowa: Pleasant Valley Community School District

* Location: Bettendorf, IA

* Student populations: 5,084

* Student-to-teacher ratio: 16:1

* Reading proficiency: 90%

* Math proficiency: 93%

* Graduation rate: 98%

* Spending per student: $12,790

* Average teacher salary: $62,711

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Kansas: Blue Valley Unified School District (Overland Park)

* Location: Overland Park, KS

* Student populations: 22,783

* Student-to-teacher ratio: 14:1

* Reading proficiency: 63%

* Math proficiency: 57%

* Graduation rate: 97%

* Spending per student: $12,597

* Average teacher salary: $52,026

Kentucky: Fort Thomas Independent Schools

* Location: Fort Thomas, KY

* Student populations: 3,129

* Student-to-teacher ratio: 17:1

* Reading proficiency: 79%

* Math proficiency: 76%

* Graduation rate: 96%

* Spending per student: $13,947

* Average teacher salary: $61,062

Louisiana: Zachary Community Public Schools

* Location: Zachary, LA

* Student populations: 5,551

* Student-to-teacher ratio: 18:1

* Reading proficiency: 84%

* Math proficiency: 83%

* Graduation rate: 93%

* Spending per student: $11,024

* Average teacher salary: $63,115

Maine: Yarmouth Schools

* Location: Yarmouth, ME

* Student populations: 1,652

* Student-to-teacher ratio: 13:1

* Reading proficiency: 77%

* Math proficiency: 70%

* Graduation rate: 95%

* Spending per student: $15,532

* Average teacher salary: $76,051

Maryland: Howard County Public Schools

* Location: Ellicott City, MD

* Student populations: 57,907

* Student-to-teacher ratio: 13:1

* Reading proficiency: 55%

* Math proficiency: 59%

* Graduation rate: 92%

* Spending per student: $17,691

* Average teacher salary: $75,357

Massachusetts: Hopkinton Public Schools

* Location: Hopkinton, MA

* Student populations: 3,685

* Student-to-teacher ratio: 14:1

* Reading proficiency: 81%

* Math proficiency: 80%

* Graduation rate: 98%

* Spending per student: $21,205

* Average teacher salary: $90,157

Michigan: Novi Community School District

* Location: Novi, MI

* Student populations: 6,694

* Student-to-teacher ratio: 16:1

* Reading proficiency: 58%

* Math proficiency: 65%

* Graduation rate: 95%

* Spending per student: $15,743

* Average teacher salary: $64,153

Minnesota: Minnetonka Public School District

* Location: Minnetonka, MN

* Student populations: 10,970

* Student-to-teacher ratio: 16:1

* Reading proficiency: 82%

* Math proficiency: 81%

* Graduation rate: 97%

* Spending per student: data unavailable

* Average teacher salary: $70,887

Mississippi: Petal School District

* Location: Petal, MS

* Student populations: 4,137

* Student-to-teacher ratio: 15:1

* Reading proficiency: 62%

* Math proficiency: 74%

* Graduation rate: 88%

* Spending per student: $9,121

* Average teacher salary: $45,799

Missouri: School District of Clayton

* Location: Clayton, MO

* Student populations: 2,644

* Student-to-teacher ratio: 11:1

* Reading proficiency: 74%

* Math proficiency: 74%

* Graduation rate: 99%

* Spending per student: $24,173

* Average teacher salary: $87,936

Montana: Hobson Public Schools

* Location: Hobson, MT

* Student populations: 117

* Student-to-teacher ratio: 8:1

* Reading proficiency: 65%

* Math proficiency: 45%

* Graduation rate: data unavailable

* Spending per student: $20,536

* Average teacher salary: $47,034

Nebraska: Elkhorn Public Schools

* Location: Elkhorn, NE

* Student populations: 9,857

* Student-to-teacher ratio: 16:1

* Reading proficiency: 81%

* Math proficiency: 82%

* Graduation rate: 98%

* Spending per student: $12,789

* Average teacher salary: $52,076

Nevada: Eureka County School District

* Location: Eureka, NV

* Student populations: 321

* Student-to-teacher ratio: 5:1

* Reading proficiency: 67%

* Math proficiency: 42%

* Graduation rate: data unavailable

* Spending per student: $31,373

* Average teacher salary: $86,955

New Hampshire: SAU 70

* Location: Hanover, NH

* Student populations: 1,125

* Student-to-teacher ratio: 11:1

* Reading proficiency: 85%

* Math proficiency: 76%

* Graduation rate: 95%

* Spending per student: $26,401

* Average teacher salary: $97,402

New Jersey: Princeton Public Schools

* Location: Princeton, NJ

* Student populations: 3,809

* Student-to-teacher ratio: 11:1

* Reading proficiency: 78%

* Math proficiency: 65%

* Graduation rate: 96%

* Spending per student: $25,217

* Average teacher salary: $80,903

New Mexico: Los Alamos Public Schools

* Location: Los Alamos, NM

* Student populations: 3,749

* Student-to-teacher ratio: 15:1

* Reading proficiency: 57%

* Math proficiency: 49%

* Graduation rate: 89%

* Spending per student: $12,679

* Average teacher salary: $53,559

New York: Jericho Union Free School District

* Location: Jericho, NY

* Student populations: 3,075

* Student-to-teacher ratio: 9:1

* Reading proficiency: 88%

* Math proficiency: 91%

* Graduation rate: 98%

* Spending per student: $36,392

* Average teacher salary: $131,477

North Carolina: Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools

* Location: Chapel Hill, NC

* Student populations: 12,422

* Student-to-teacher ratio: 14:1

* Reading proficiency: 67%

* Math proficiency: 59%

* Graduation rate: 90%

* Spending per student: $13,086

* Average teacher salary: $45,683

North Dakota: Edmore School District No. 2

* Location: Edmore, ND

* Student populations: 50

* Student-to-teacher ratio: 4:1

* Reading proficiency: 75%

* Math proficiency: 65%

* Graduation rate: data unavailable

* Spending per student: $28,918

* Average teacher salary: $39,357

Ohio: Indian Hill Exempted Village School District

* Location: Cincinnati, OH

* Student populations: 2,037

* Student-to-teacher ratio: 13:1

* Reading proficiency: 92%

* Math proficiency: 92%

* Graduation rate: 95%

* Spending per student: $19,658

* Average teacher salary: $78,941

Oklahoma: Jenks Public Schools

* Location: Jenks, OK

* Student populations: 12,465

* Student-to-teacher ratio: 17:1

* Reading proficiency: 44%

* Math proficiency: 42%

* Graduation rate: 89%

* Spending per student: $9,864

* Average teacher salary: $40,194

Oregon: Lake Oswego School District

* Location: Lake Oswego, OR

* Student populations: 7,066

* Student-to-teacher ratio: 20:1

* Reading proficiency: 85%

* Math proficiency: 75%

* Graduation rate: 93%

* Spending per student: $11,810

* Average teacher salary: $63,837

Pennsylvania: Radnor Township School District

* Location: Wayne, PA

* Student populations: 3,682

* Student-to-teacher ratio: 13:1

* Reading proficiency: 89%

* Math proficiency: 79%

* Graduation rate: 98%

* Spending per student: $23,994

* Average teacher salary: $95,865

Rhode Island: Barrington Public Schools

* Location: Barrington, RI

* Student populations: 3,343

* Student-to-teacher ratio: 14:1

* Reading proficiency: 71%

* Math proficiency: 63%

* Graduation rate: 97%

* Spending per student: $15,529

* Average teacher salary: $87,640

South Carolina: Fort Mill School District

* Location: Fort Mill, SC

* Student populations: 16,081

* Student-to-teacher ratio: 15:1

* Reading proficiency: 68%

* Math proficiency: 73%

* Graduation rate: 94%

* Spending per student: $15,825

* Average teacher salary: $53,305

South Dakota: Brandon Valley School District

* Location: Brandon, SD

* Student populations: 4,284

* Student-to-teacher ratio: 18:1

* Reading proficiency: 75%

* Math proficiency: 68%

* Graduation rate: 96%

* Spending per student: $9,699

* Average teacher salary: $49,540

Tennessee: Collierville Schools

* Location: Collierville, TN

* Student populations: 9,096

* Student-to-teacher ratio: 16:1

* Reading proficiency: 60%

* Math proficiency: 60%

* Graduation rate: 95%

* Spending per student: $15,810

* Average teacher salary: $54,202

Texas: Eanes Independent School District

* Location: Austin, TX

* Student populations: 8,132

* Student-to-teacher ratio: 14:1

* Reading proficiency: 80%

* Math proficiency: 81%

* Graduation rate: 98%

* Spending per student: $24,109

* Average teacher salary: $51,587

Utah: Northern Utah Academy for Math Engineering & Science (Nuames)

* Location: Layton, UT

* Student populations: 875

* Student-to-teacher ratio: 22:1

* Reading proficiency: 74%

* Math proficiency: 72%

* Graduation rate: 95%

* Spending per student: $6,834

* Average teacher salary: $34,263

Vermont: South Burlington School District

* Location: South Burlington, VT

* Student populations: 2,759

* Student-to-teacher ratio: 13:1

* Reading proficiency: 71%

* Math proficiency: 59%

* Graduation rate: 91%

* Spending per student: $22,235

* Average teacher salary: $79,969

Virginia: Falls Church City Public Schools

* Location: Falls Church, VA

* Student populations: 2,620

* Student-to-teacher ratio: 14:1

* Reading proficiency: 92%

* Math proficiency: 82%

* Graduation rate: 97%

* Spending per student: data unavailable

* Average teacher salary: $95,479

Washington: Mercer Island School District

* Location: Mercer Island, WA

* Student populations: 4,522

* Student-to-teacher ratio: 18:1

* Reading proficiency: 87%

* Math proficiency: 83%

* Graduation rate: 96%

* Spending per student: $15,721

* Average teacher salary: $73,066

West Virginia: Monongalia County Schools

* Location: Morgantown, WV

* Student populations: 11,679

* Student-to-teacher ratio: 15:1

* Reading proficiency: 54%

* Math proficiency: 50%

* Graduation rate: 90%

* Spending per student: $13,372

* Average teacher salary: $51,077

Wisconsin: Elmbrook School District

* Location: Brookfield, WI

* Student populations: 7,334

Student-to-teacher ratio: 15:1

* Reading proficiency: 63%

* Math proficiency: 68%

* Graduation rate: 96%

* Spending per student: $14,092

* Average teacher salary: $80,756

Wyoming: Sheridan County School District No. 2

* Location: Sheridan, WY

* Student populations: 3,532

* Student-to-teacher ratio: 14:1

* Reading proficiency: 75%

* Math proficiency: 72%

* Graduation rate: 89%

* Spending per student: $15,520

* Average teacher salary: $69,785

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A lover, fighter, and freelance writer, María Cristina hunts down buzzworthy stories by day and trains to be a championship kickboxer by night. As a full-time digital nomad, she's lived everywhere from Chicago to Mexico City to Medellín to Bali -- but Austin, Texas will always be home.
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