These are the best school districts in every U.S. state

Published 4:43 pm Tuesday, October 25, 2022

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The best school district in every state

Between parental politics, after-school programs, and PTA meetings, navigating school districts can be hard—and choosing the district that is best for your child is even harder.

Stacker analyzed 2022 data from Niche to calculate the best school district in every state. Niche rankings rely on statistics from the U.S. Department of Education, SAT/ACT scores, college readiness, teacher quality, and graduation rates. Of course, ratings are one thing and experiences are another, which is why it’s always smart to research and learn about the families, teachers, and students in a given district before deciding something as important as moving based on a particular school.

Various districts prioritize funding for different programs, and some have more of a knack for hiring and retaining nurturing teachers. For some districts, it seems to be a numbers game, without any thought regarding the learning environment. Still, other districts encourage kids to explore passions and make friends but are lagging academically. A top school district isn’t just one or the other; it’s a combination of factors parents must weigh when considering a new district.

Keep reading to see how your district stacks up, or to help narrow your search for where you plan to move and raise a family.

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A girl running with a backpack.

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Alabama: Madison City Schools

– Location: Madison, Alabama
– Total students: 11,804
– National rank: 57

A school bus driving over a bridge with mountains in the background.

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Alaska: Skagway School District

– Location: Skagway, Alaska
– Total students: 144
– National rank: 481

A school in a desert landscape.

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Arizona: Catalina Foothills Unified School District

– Location: Tucson, Arizona
– Total students: 5,190
– National rank: 362

A classroom of older kids learning.

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Arkansas: Haas Hall Academy

– Location: Fayetteville, Arkansas
– Total students: 1,407
– National rank: 137

A boy with red hair boarding a school bus.


California: Palo Alto Unified School District

– Location: Palo Alto, California
– Total students: 11,395
– National rank: 9

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A school bus driving through the mountains.


Colorado: Cheyenne Mountain School District No. 12

– Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
– Total students: 5,270
– National rank: 290

Girls playing soccer.

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Connecticut: Westport School District

– Location: Westport, Connecticut
– Total students: 5,329
– National rank: 17

Kids running up to a school.


Delaware: Appoquinimink School District

– Location: Odessa, Delaware
– Total students: 11,914
– National rank: 489

The brick building of St. Johns School.

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Florida: St. Johns County School District

– Location: St Augustine, Florida
– Total students: 44,550
– National rank: 848

A school with two flags on a big green lawn in front.

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Georgia: Buford City Schools

– Location: Buford, Georgia
– Total students: 5,468
– National rank: 87

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A white school building with a statue in front.

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Hawaii: Monongalia County Schools

– Location: Morgantown, Hawaii
– Total students: 11,113
– National rank: Not ranked

Kids working on drawing at a table in school.


Idaho: Troy School District

– Location: Troy, Idaho
– Total students: 270
– National rank: 740

High school students taking a test.


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

– Location: Lincolnshire, Illinois
– Total students: 4,315
– National rank: 1

Kids exiting a school bus.


Indiana: West Lafayette Community School Corporation

– Location: West Lafayette, Indiana
– Total students: 2,316
– National rank: 8

Two kids writing at a long table together.


Iowa: Pleasant Valley Community School District

– Location: Bettendorf, Iowa
– Total students: 5,331
– National rank: 121

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Blue Valley brick high school.

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Kansas: Blue Valley Unified School District (Overland Park)

– Location: Overland Park, Kansas
– Total students: 22,148
– National rank: 69

Elementary kids getting off a school bus in a line and going into school.


Kentucky: Murray Independent Schools

– Location: Murray, Kentucky
– Total students: 1,783
– National rank: 263

A classroom of school chair desks.

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Louisiana: Zachary Community Public Schools

– Location: Zachary, Louisiana
– Total students: 5,444
– National rank: 306

A school bus inside with empty blue seats.

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Maine: Yarmouth Schools

– Location: Yarmouth, Maine
– Total students: 1,670
– National rank: 172

A long brick school.

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Maryland: Howard County Public Schools

– Location: Ellicott City, Maryland
– Total students: 57,293
– National rank: 307

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An elementary school library book cart.


Massachusetts: Weston Public Schools

– Location: Weston, Massachusetts
– Total students: 1,906
– National rank: 23

A green Novi High School sign.

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Michigan: Novi Community School District

– Location: Novi, Michigan
– Total students: 6,580
– National rank: 60

A school gymnasium.


Minnesota: Wayzata Public School District

– Location: Wayzata, Minnesota
– Total students: 12,013
– National rank: 46

A light wood desk.

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Mississippi: Petal School District

– Location: Petal, Mississippi
– Total students: 4,106
– National rank: 286

High school students sitting together smiling.

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Missouri: School District of Clayton

– Location: Clayton, Missouri
– Total students: 2,514
– National rank: 13

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Elementary kids looking at books with a teacher in the library.


Montana: Monongalia County Schools

– Location: Morgantown, Montana
– Total students: 11,113
– National rank: Not ranked

A middle school girl with braces sitting at a desk.

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Nebraska: Elkhorn Public Schools

– Location: Elkhorn, Nebraska
– Total students: 10,642
– National rank: 239

A colorful playground.


Nevada: Monongalia County Schools

– Location: Morgantown, Nevada
– Total students: 11,113
– National rank: Not ranked

A chair back in a classroom.

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New Hampshire: SAU 70

– Location: Hanover, New Hampshire
– Total students: 1,054
– National rank: 96

High school students walking down the hallway.


New Jersey: Millburn Township School District

– Location: Millburn, New Jersey
– Total students: 4,697
– National rank: 29

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A gray school with a green Los Alamos sign in front.

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New Mexico: Los Alamos Public Schools

– Location: Los Alamos, New Mexico
– Total students: 3,539
– National rank: 329

Syosset boys cross country race with many other teams.

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New York: Great Neck Public Schools

– Location: Great Neck, New York
– Total students: 6,831
– National rank: 3

Indoor sports course for kids in a gym.


North Carolina: Polk County Schools

– Location: Columbus, North Carolina
– Total students: 2,154
– National rank: 399

Kids holding sheets of music and singing.


North Dakota: Edmore School District No. 2

– Location: Edmore, North Dakota
– Total students: 35
– National rank: 675

Special education teacher working with a young boy at a green table.


Ohio: Solon City School District

– Location: Solon, Ohio
– Total students: 4,521
– National rank: 49

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Sunny exterior view of the Edmond Public Schools.

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Oklahoma: Edmond Public Schools

– Location: Edmond, Oklahoma
– Total students: 23,496
– National rank: 285

A West Linn-Wilsonville school bus.

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Oregon: West Linn-Wilsonville School District

– Location: Tualatin, Oregon
– Total students: 9,302
– National rank: 348

Kids reading and writing at their desks.

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Pennsylvania: Radnor Township School District

– Location: Wayne, Pennsylvania
– Total students: 3,624
– National rank: 14

The outside of brick Barrinton school with a blue sign.

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Rhode Island: Barrington Public Schools

– Location: Barrington, Rhode Island
– Total students: 3,388
– National rank: 227

Three kids laughing and running outside the school wearing backpacks.

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South Carolina: Fort Mill School District

– Location: Fort Mill, South Carolina
– Total students: 16,883
– National rank: 235

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A bench outside full of kids' backpacks.

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South Dakota: Brandon Valley School District

– Location: Brandon, South Dakota
– Total students: 4,721
– National rank: 639

A dad walking his daughter to school.


Tennessee: Maryville City Schools

– Location: Maryville, Tennessee
– Total students: 5,441
– National rank: 383

A stone school with a Texas and American flag in front.

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Texas: Eanes Independent School District

– Location: Austin, Texas
– Total students: 7,968
– National rank: 10

A mom handing her daughter some spiral notebooks for school.

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

– Location: Layton, Utah
– Total students: 1,135
– National rank: 173

A school bus in front of a playground.

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Vermont: South Burlington School District

– Location: South Burlington, Vermont
– Total students: 2,688
– National rank: 638

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Students sitting in a row outside smiling.

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Virginia: Falls Church City Public Schools

– Location: Falls Church, Virginia
– Total students: 2,500
– National rank: 220

The outside front of Mercer Island school on a rainy day.

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Washington: Mercer Island School District

– Location: Mercer Island, Washington
– Total students: 4,192
– National rank: 157

Two girls sit together in class smiling at each other.

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West Virginia: Monongalia County Schools

– Location: Morgantown, West Virginia
– Total students: 11,113
– National rank: Not ranked

Empty wooden desks in class.

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Wisconsin: Elmbrook School District

– Location: Brookfield, Wisconsin
– Total students: 7,280
– National rank: 45

A hallway of lockers.


Wyoming: Sheridan County School District No. 2

– Location: Sheridan, Wyoming
– Total students: 3,519
– National rank: 893

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