Best school districts in Louisiana

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Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 3:50 PM CDT

(Stacker) - 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 Louisiana 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. St. James Parish Public Schools (Lutcher)
- Number of schools: 6 (3,684 students)
- Graduation rate: 84% (79% reading proficient and 75% math proficient)
- Average teacher salary: $71,025 (13:1 student to teacher ratio)

#9. Vermilion Parish Public Schools (Abbeville)
- Number of schools: 20 (9,568 students)
- Graduation rate: 92% (85% reading proficient and 78% math proficient)
- Average teacher salary: $53,424 (18:1 student to teacher ratio)

#8. Plaquemines Parish Public Schools (Belle Chasse)
- Number of schools: 8 (4,045 students)
- Graduation rate: 91% (81% reading proficient and 78% math proficient)
- Average teacher salary: $83,363 (23:1 student to teacher ratio)

#7. Cameron Parish Public Schools (Cameron)
- Number of schools: 4 (1,339 students)
- Graduation rate: 92% (81% reading proficient and 81% math proficient)
- Average teacher salary: $51,141 (11:1 student to teacher ratio)

#6. Sabine Parish Public Schools (Many)
- Number of schools: 10 (4,327 students)
- Graduation rate: 96% (74% reading proficient and 65% math proficient)
- Average teacher salary: $57,431 (18:1 student to teacher ratio)

#5. West Feliciana Parish Public Schools (St. Francisville)
- Number of schools: 4 (2,217 students)
- Graduation rate: 95% (82% reading proficient and 77% math proficient)
- Average teacher salary: $60,578 (15:1 student to teacher ratio)

#4. Ascension Parish Public Schools (Donaldsonville)
- Number of schools: 28 (23,066 students)
- Graduation rate: 89% (83% reading proficient and 79% math proficient)
- Average teacher salary: $58,343 (18:1 student to teacher ratio)

#3. St. Charles Parish Public Schools (Luling)
- Number of schools: 15 (9,440 students)
- Graduation rate: 86% (83% reading proficient and 78% math proficient)
- Average teacher salary: $70,134 (15:1 student to teacher ratio)

#2. Lincoln Parish Public Schools (Ruston)
- Number of schools: 12 (5,467 students)
- Graduation rate: 97% (72% reading proficient and 67% math proficient)
- Average teacher salary: $62,944 (16:1 student to teacher ratio)

#1. Zachary Community Public Schools (Zachary)
- Number of schools: 7 (5,550 students)
- Graduation rate: 94% (88% reading proficient and 84% math proficient)
- Average teacher salary: $63,115 (18:1 student to teacher ratio)

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