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Best school districts in Arizona


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Best school districts in Arizona

A good school can lead to a lifetime of opportunities. Myriad data shows that lifetime earnings dramatically increase with every degree obtained. Bachelor’s degree holders will earn an average of roughly $26,000 more each year than high school graduates. And for those who decide that pursuing a college degree is not the best postsecondary option, a good school will provide students with the tools and support to make that choice, and the foundational skills necessary to succeed in the workforce.

For many families, the school district is a top criteria when deciding where to buy a home. But this consideration and ability to choose is not a luxury all families can afford, especially in today’s wildly competitive housing market.

One important proxy of a quality education is per-student spending. According to the most recent Census data available, the national average per-pupil expenditure in fiscal year 2019 was $13,187. Several recent studies suggest that increased spending per student correlates with higher academic achievement, particularly in districts serving predominantly 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 critical expenditures like staff salaries and benefits, transportation, instructional resources, and support services.

There are more than 13,000 school districts in the U.S., each one slightly different, for better or worse, than the next. However, several common denominators exist and, when compared, can serve as indicators of what makes an impactful district.

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

#10. Eduprize Schools (Queen Creek)
– Number of schools: 2 (3,632 students)

– Graduation rate: 90% (63% reading proficient and 57% math proficient)

– Average teacher salary: No data available (student to teacher ratio not available)

#9. Paradise Valley Unified School District (Phoenix)
– Number of schools: 44 (30,999 students)

– Graduation rate: 89% (53% reading proficient and 50% math proficient)

– Average teacher salary: $49,308 (18:1 student to teacher ratio)

#8. Peoria Unified School District (Glendale)
– Number of schools: 44 (37,842 students)

– Graduation rate: 97% (50% reading proficient and 50% math proficient)

– Average teacher salary: $50,650 (19:1 student to teacher ratio)

#7. Choice Academies (Phoenix)
– Number of schools: 2 (761 students)

– Graduation rate: No data available (79% reading proficient and 78% math proficient)

– Average teacher salary: No data available (student to teacher ratio not available)

#6. Gilbert Public Schools (Gilbert)
– Number of schools: 39 (34,651 students)

– Graduation rate: 93% (59% reading proficient and 57% math proficient)

– Average teacher salary: $54,575 (18:1 student to teacher ratio)

#5. Scottsdale Unified School District (Scottsdale)
– Number of schools: 30 (22,410 students)

– Graduation rate: 93% (63% reading proficient and 63% math proficient)

– Average teacher salary: $50,094 (18:1 student to teacher ratio)

#4. Vail Unified School District (Vail)
– Number of schools: 22 (13,792 students)

– Graduation rate: 90% (68% reading proficient and 71% math proficient)

– Average teacher salary: $46,318 (22:1 student to teacher ratio)

#3. Chandler Unified School District No. 80 (Chandler)
– Number of schools: 44 (45,749 students)

– Graduation rate: 93% (59% reading proficient and 57% math proficient)

– Average teacher salary: $52,672 (19:1 student to teacher ratio)

#2. Catalina Foothills Unified School District (Tucson)
– Number of schools: 8 (5,508 students)

– Graduation rate: 95% (70% reading proficient and 67% math proficient)

– Average teacher salary: $45,311 (19:1 student to teacher ratio)

#1. Heritage Academy (Mesa)
– Number of schools: 2 (1,148 students)

– Graduation rate: 92% (68% reading proficient and 51% math proficient)

– Average teacher salary: No data available (student to teacher ratio not available)


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