The Grade

Education in Stamford

Fairfield County home to 3 of Top 10 richest school districts in U.S.

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Three of the county’s school districts were ranked in a “Top 10 Richest School Districts in America,” list, published by 24/7 Wall Street earlier this year.The report examined median income of more than 10,000 school districts across the country, and also factored in median home values, the percentage of children living in poverty and the percentage of adults with high school and college degrees.

The top 10 districts, including the three Fairfield County districts that were named represent a very different picture than the one painted across school districts throughout the nation.

“Compared to the national median income, the families in the most well-off districts are incredibly wealthy,” the report states. “In the 10 richest school districts, median incomes ranged from $175,766 to $238,000. By comparison, the national median household income from 2006 to 2010 was $51,914. Among the 10 wealthiest districts, between 48% and 64% earned $200,000. Nationally, only 5.4% of households earned more than that.”

Follow the jump to see which FC districts made the list.
  • Darien was named the No. 10 richest district in the nation, thanks to a median household income of $175,766, 52.5 percent of households earning more than $200,000 a year and 1.4 percent earning less than $10,000. The report also points out that the district spends $18,047 per pupil (which is almost twice the national average of $10,591), and 86 percent of the funding comes from the municipality itself.
  • New Canaan was named the No. 8 richest district in the nation, thanks to a median household income of $179,338, 54.5 percent of households earning more than $200,000 a year and 0.7 percent earning less than $10,000. In addition, district spends $18,915, and 87 percent of the funding comes from the municipality itself.
  • Weston was named the No. 2 richest district in the nation, thanks to a median household income of $209,630, 59.3 percent of households earning more than $200,000 a year and 0.8 percent earning less than $10,000. In addition, district spends $20,718, and 90 percent of the funding comes from the municipality itself.

“Not surprisingly, the richest schools are considered better than the poorest schools, based on measures used by the media to rank academic success,” the report states. “All of the richest school districts were included in the 2012 U.S. News & World Report Best High Schools list, except for Bronxville, which was ranked fourth in Newsweek’s Top 20 High Schools in the Northeast. U.S. News based its rankings on state test scores and college readiness, while Newsweek’s methodology included graduation rates, college acceptance and AP exams. The poorest school districts did not fare as well. Only two were included in the U.S. News rankings.”

Maggie Gordon

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