The largest and most heavily forested of the New England states, Maine may not have any booming metropolises, but the public school districts of its smaller cities and towns have set an excellent academic standard, with both high school graduation rate and 8th Grade NAEP math scores being above the national averages.
Maine’s top public school district is Regional School Unit #20, comprising two elementary schools, middle school, and a high school serving Stockton and Searsport. Searsport is a small deep seaport town with over 250 years of history.
Ranking #2 is Falmouth Public Schools, administering three schools in the small coastal town of Falmouth. The district’s standardized test scores and graduation rate are well above state averages.
Yarmouth Schools, operating four schools in Yarmouth, ten miles north of Portland, places third in the ranking. Yarmouth High School’s student/teacher ratio of 11.51 is above the Maine state average.
#4 MSAD #51 of Cumberland and North Yarmouth is another small school district comprised of four schools. Despite its small size, the 2018 graduating class of MSAD #51’s Greely High School produced four National Merit Scholars and achieved a graduation rate of 97.7%.
The #5 best public school district in Maine is Cape Elizabeth Public Schools, which like the three preceding districts in the ranking, is also based in Cumberland County and is comprised of three schools. In 2018, Cape Elizabeth High School produced 16 AP Scholars, with 89% of its graduating class going on to attend 4 year institutions.
Top School Districts in Maine, 2019
Rank School District County City State
1 RSU 20 Waldo County Searsport Maine
2 Falmouth Public Schools Cumberland County Falmouth Maine
3 Yarmouth Schools Cumberland County Yarmouth Maine
4 RSU 51/MSAD 51 Cumberland County Cumberland Maine
5 Cape Elizabeth Public Schools Cumberland County Cape Elizabeth Maine
6 York Public Schools York County York Maine
7 Scarborough Public Schools Cumberland County Scarborough Maine
8 Five Town CSD Knox County Camden Maine
9 Mt Desert CSD Hancock County Mount Desert Maine
10 RSU 26 Penobscot County Orono Maine
11 RSU 21 York County Kennebunk Maine
12 Wells-Ogunquit CSD York County Wells Maine
13 Gorham Public Schools Cumberland County Gorham Maine
14 RSU 05 Cumberland County Freeport Maine
15 Baxter Academy for Technology and Science Cumberland County Portland Maine
16 RSU 58/MSAD 58 Franklin County Phillips Maine
17 Brunswick Public Schools Cumberland County Brunswick Maine
18 RSU 38 Kennebec County Readfield Maine
19 Winthrop Public Schools Kennebec County Winthrop Maine
20 Bangor Public Schools Penobscot County Bangor Maine
21 Kittery Public Schools York County Kittery Maine
22 RSU 70/MSAD 70 Aroostook County Hodgdon Maine
23 Hermon Public Schools Penobscot County Hermon Maine
24 RSU 35/MSAD 35 York County Eliot Maine
25 RSU 44/MSAD 44 Oxford County Bethel Maine
The following contributed to the ranking: number of students (K-12), graduation rate, teacher quality, school funding, student to teacher ratio, standardized test results (reading and math; the percentage of students scoring at or above state proficiency level). Data from a total of 10,728 school districts had sufficient values for the variables above.