Best school districts in South Carolina

Written by:
March 9, 2022
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Best school districts in South Carolina

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 South Carolina 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. Anderson School District No. 3 (Iva)
- Number of schools: 5 (2,615 students)
- Graduation rate: 92% (51% reading proficient and 60% math proficient)
- Average teacher salary: $51,337 (15:1 student to teacher ratio)

#9. Greenville County School District (Greenville)
- Number of schools: 91 (77,302 students)
- Graduation rate: 85% (56% reading proficient and 54% math proficient)
- Average teacher salary: $56,675 (15:1 student to teacher ratio)

#8. Horry County Schools (Conway)
- Number of schools: 56 (45,759 students)
- Graduation rate: 83% (54% reading proficient and 57% math proficient)
- Average teacher salary: $61,317 (15:1 student to teacher ratio)

#7. Spartanburg County School District No. 5 (Duncan)
- Number of schools: 12 (9,083 students)
- Graduation rate: 89% (51% reading proficient and 56% math proficient)
- Average teacher salary: $57,033 (14:1 student to teacher ratio)

#6. Anderson School District No. 1 (Williamston)
- Number of schools: 14 (10,245 students)
- Graduation rate: 92% (61% reading proficient and 64% math proficient)
- Average teacher salary: $55,526 (17:1 student to teacher ratio)

#5. Spartanburg County School District No. 1 (Campobello)
- Number of schools: 10 (5,278 students)
- Graduation rate: 91% (54% reading proficient and 55% math proficient)
- Average teacher salary: $56,960 (15:1 student to teacher ratio)

#4. Clover School District (Clover)
- Number of schools: 10 (8,295 students)
- Graduation rate: 88% (60% reading proficient and 65% math proficient)
- Average teacher salary: $59,332 (14:1 student to teacher ratio)

#3. Lexington County School District No. 1 (Lexington)
- Number of schools: 31 (27,288 students)
- Graduation rate: 90% (55% reading proficient and 54% math proficient)
- Average teacher salary: $56,032 (14:1 student to teacher ratio)

#2. Lexington-Richland School District No. 5 (Irmo)
- Number of schools: 22 (17,494 students)
- Graduation rate: 88% (59% reading proficient and 54% math proficient)
- Average teacher salary: $58,860 (13:1 student to teacher ratio)

#1. Fort Mill School District (Fort Mill)
- Number of schools: 17 (16,977 students)
- Graduation rate: 95% (71% reading proficient and 74% math proficient)
- Average teacher salary: $53,305 (15:1 student to teacher ratio)

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