HUMBOLDT, Kan. (KSNF/KODE) — Every child is born to a unique set of circumstances. And it is these different social, familial, economic, environmental, and many other factors that help shape who they become. While these conditions are countless, a handful of factors play an outsized role in a child’s development and the likelihood of future success, including academic success.
Whether or not a child succeeds academically can depend considerably on school quality. A student who falls behind in one school district might have excelled academically in another. And, It’s not always limited to the classroom — many of the strongest influences on a child’s future are in the home environment and the resources a child may have or not have there.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Center for Education Statistics, the Humboldt Unified School District 258 in eastern Kansas ranks as the worst district in the state. Per pupil spending in the distinct totals is just $9,187 a year, well below the $11,926 average spending statewide.
While higher investment in education is no guarantee of improved outcomes, it can translate to certain advantages, such as small class sizes. In the Humboldt district, there are 22 students per teacher, well above the student-teacher ratio of 14-to-1 across the Sunflower State.
According to neighborhood and school district review site Niche, Humboldt compares poorly to other districts in the state in college prep, academics, clubs and activities, and resources and facilities.
In the following chart, you’ll find the worst school district in every state, according to these four measures: Child poverty rate, teacher-to-student ratio, per-pupil spending, and the share of adults with a college education. All data came from the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Center for Education Statistics.
|State||District||Enrollment||Annual Per-Pupil Spending ($)||Student-Teacher Ratio||Adults With A 4-Year Degree or Higher (%)|
|Alabama||Eufaula City School District||5,427||$5,298||38:1||16.5%|
|Alaska||Lower Yukon School District||2,006||$31,575||16:1||3.8%|
|Arizona||Gadsden School District 32||5,274||$7,649||36:1||N/A|
|Arkansas||Forrest City School District||2,531||$11,655||16:1||10.2%|
|California||Mendota Unified School District||3,543||$12,746||N/A||2.4%|
|Colorado||Las Animas School District RE-1||2,309||$8,049||60:1||9.7%|
|Connecticut||Waterbury School District||18,751||$18,110||13:1||15.7%|
|Delaware||Woodbridge School District||2,526||$15,027||15:1||14.3%|
|Florida||Hamilton County School District||1,610||$11,212||20:1||7.9%|
|Georgia||Treutlen County School District||1,122||$10,631||13:1||12.4%|
|Hawaii||Hawaii Department of Education||181,278||$16,132||15:1||33.0%|
|Idaho||Oneida County School District 351||2,464||$5,345||21:1||17.1%|
|Illinois||Prairie Hills Elementary School District 144||2,802||$13,082||20:1||N/A|
|Indiana||Union School Corporation||3,371||$4,188||22:1||16.3%|
|Iowa||Clayton Ridge Community School District||1,020||$9,536||26:1||17.7%|
|Kansas||Humboldt Unified School District 258||955||$9,187||22:1||15.4%|
|Kentucky||McCreary County School District||2,878||$11,066||17:1||7.2%|
|Louisiana||Madison Parish School District||1,243||$12,457||21:1||12.8%|
|Maine||School Administrative District 68||1,015||$4,451||20:1||23.5%|
|Maryland||Baltimore City Public Schools||79,297||$15,888||16:1||31.9%|
|Massachusetts||Chelsea School District||6,088||$15,676||15:1||18.5%|
|Michigan||River Rouge School District||2,279||$11,349||26:1||8.9%|
|Minnesota||Worthington Public School District||3,904||$10,566||22:1||15.3%|
|Mississippi||North Bolivar Consolidated School District||937||$10,199||15:1||16.5%|
|Missouri||Hayti R-II School District||667||$9,945||13:1||5.3%|
|Montana||Browning H S Dist 9||615||$12,462||16:1||N/A|
|Nebraska||Lexington Public Schools||3,104||$11,971||15:1||12.5%|
|Nevada||White Pine County School District||1,655||$10,543||28:1||13.2%|
|New Hampshire||Berlin School District||1,159||$17,739||12:1||12.4%|
|New Jersey||Trenton City School District||14,500||$16,791||16:1||12.2%|
|New Mexico||West Las Vegas Public Schools||1,539||$12,455||16:1||13.4%|
|New York||Niagara Falls City School District||7,159||$18,524||20:1||18.7%|
|North Carolina||Robeson County Schools||22,044||$9,979||16:1||13.7%|
|North Dakota||Williams County School District 8||653||$10,227||26:1||N/A|
|Ohio||Clearview Local School District||1,654||$9,770||20:1||11.9%|
|Oklahoma||Carnegie Public Schools||554||$11,060||14:1||14.4%|
|Oregon||Marcola School District||593||$9,521||38:1||19.0%|
|Pennsylvania||Greater Johnstown School District||2,984||$13,558||15:1||12.4%|
|Rhode Island||Central Falls School District||2,695||$17,432||14:1||8.1%|
|South Carolina||Dillon School District 4||4,134||$9,510||17:1||10.5%|
|South Dakota||Todd County School District 66-1||2,099||$13,485||13:1||15.6%|
|Tennessee||Union County School District||4,509||$7,852||20:1||9.9%|
|Texas||Edgewood Independent School District||10,234||$9,922||16:1||4.6%|
|Utah||Uintah School District||7,257||$8,365||24:1||15.8%|
|Vermont||St. Johnsbury Town School District||1,070||$13,187||23:1||N/A|
|Virginia||Colonial Beach Public Schools||671||$11,289||17:1||26.2%|
|Washington||Mary M. Knight School District||1,658||$10,469||39:1||14.7%|
|West Virginia||McDowell County School District||3,063||$13,070||13:1||5.4%|
|Wisconsin||Milwaukee School District||75,431||$14,145||17:1||24.6%|
|Wyoming||Niobrara County School District 1||809||$14,656||13:1||18.2%|
Data on per-pupil spending in 2019 came from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Annual Survey of School System Finances. Data on the ratio of students to teachers in the 2019-2020 school year came from the National Center for Education Statistics. Data on the percentage of children aged five to 17 living in poverty in 2019 came from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates program. Finally, five-year data on the percentage of adults 25 and over with at least a bachelor’s degree by school district in 2019 came from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Only school districts with at least 500 students and at least three of four index data points were considered.