Virginia school system apologizes for t-shirt with swastika-like logo | State and Region

A good school can lead to a lifetime of opportunity. A myriad of data shows that lifetime earnings increase dramatically with each degree earned. Bachelor’s degree graduates will earn an average of about $26,000 more each year than high school graduates. And for those who decide that going to college isn’t the best post-secondary option, a good school will provide students with the tools and support to make that choice, as well as the fundamental skills needed to succeed in the job market.

For many families, the school district is one of the main criteria when deciding where to buy a home. But that consideration and ability to choose isn’t a luxury every family can afford, especially in today’s fiercely competitive housing market.

An important indicator of quality education is expenditure per pupil. According to the most recent census data available, the national average spending per student in fiscal year 2019 was $13,187. Several recent studies suggest that increased spending per student is correlated with higher academic achievement, especially in districts primarily serving low-income students. Since public schools are largely funded by property taxes, schools in low-income areas suffer the most from a lack of funding for essential expenses such as staff salaries and benefits, transportation, educational resources and support services.

There are over 13,000 school districts in the United States, each slightly different, for better or worse, from the other. However, several common denominators exist and, when compared, can serve as indicators of what makes an impactful neighborhood.

Stacker compiled a list of top school districts in Virginia using Niche rankings. Niche ranks school districts based on a variety of criteria, including academics (SAT/ACT scores and state proficiency tests), teacher salaries, spending per student, and access to extracurricular activities.

#ten. Montgomery County Public Schools (Christiansburg)

– Number of schools: 21 (10,016 students)

– Graduation rate: 93% (81% in reading and 86% in mathematics)

– Average teacher salary: $52,281 (student/teacher ratio of 13:1)

#9. Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools (Williamsburg)

– Number of schools: 16 (11,639 students)

– Graduation rate: 90% (81% in reading and 85% in mathematics)

– Average teacher salary: $65,669 (student/teacher ratio of 16:1)

#8. Albemarle County Public Schools (Charlottesville)

– Number of schools: 26 (14,404 students)

– Graduation rate: 91% (79% in reading and 82% in mathematics)

– Average teacher salary: $63,314 (student/teacher ratio of 13:1)

#seven. Virginia Beach City Public Schools (Virginia Beach)

– Number of schools: 87 (68,706 students)

– Graduation rate: 90% (85% in reading and 88% in mathematics)

– Average teacher salary: $65,902 (student/teacher ratio of 16:1)

#6. Fairfax County Public Schools (Falls Church)

– Number of schools: 221 (188,887 students)

– Graduation rate: 86% (81% in reading and 85% in mathematics)

– Average teacher salary: $80,579 (student/teacher ratio of 14:1)

#5. Loudoun County Public Schools (Ashburn)

– Number of schools: 94 (83,606 students)

– Graduation rate: 92% (84% in reading and 86% in mathematics)

– Average teacher salary: $73,173 (student/teacher ratio of 14:1)

#4. West Point Public Schools (West Point)

– Number of schools: 2 (802 students)

– Graduation rate: 92% (92% in reading and 93% in mathematics)

– Average teacher salary: $62,117 (student/teacher ratio of 13:1)

#3. York County School Division (Yorktown)

– Number of schools: 19 (12,978 students)

– Graduation rate: 95% (88% in reading and 92% in mathematics)

– Average teacher salary: $55,877 (student/teacher ratio of 16:1)

#2. Arlington Public Schools (Arlington)

– Number of schools: 41 (28,151 students)

– Graduation rate: 87% (83% in reading and 87% in mathematics)

– Average teacher salary: $107,694 (student/teacher ratio of 15:1)

#1. Falls Church City Public Schools (Falls Church)

– Number of schools: 5 (2,648 students)

– Graduation rate: 98% (91% in reading and 90% in mathematics)

– Average teacher salary: $95,479 (student/teacher ratio of 15:1)

Jeremy S. McLain