While on a whole, the Arkansas education system may not receive any special distinctions, a handful of its public school districts rank among the finest in the nation. Here’s a closer look at the Natural State’s five best school districts. 

Greenbrier Public Schools is the best school district in Arkansas. GPS is a medium-sized district of six schools serving over 3,000 students in the small city of Greenbrier, along with parts of eight other communities in the region. The district’s high school is one of the best in the state and has a graduation rate of over 97 percent.   

Earning the #2 spot is Benton School District, comprising seven schools serving the Little Rock suburb of Benton, as well as parts of surrounding communities. Every school in the district is accredited by the Arkansas Department of Education, and BSD recently reported its highest graduation rate in five years.  

The 3rd best school district in Arkansas is Greenwood School District, long one of the highest-performing in the state. Students in the district regularly earn ACT scores above state and national averages, as well as scoring among the top five schools in the state in math and literacy on the ACT Aspire exam. 

Valley View Public Schools is the 4th best school district in Arkansas. Comprising three schools in southwest Jonesboro, VVSD is accredited by the Arkansas Department of Education and its junior high earned National Blue Ribbon recognition in 2015. 

Lakeside School District, which serves the resort community of Hot Springs, completes the list of Arkansas top five school districts. Students at Lakeside’s four schools regularly distinguish themselves through high performance in assessment testing and by earning a high number of scholarships.  

Top School Districts in Arkansas, 2020

RankSchool DistrictCity
1Greenbrier School DistrictGreenbrier
2Benton School DistrictBenton
3Greenwood School DistrictGreenwood
4Valley View School DistrictJonesboro
5Lakeside School DistrictHot Springs
6Vilonia School DistrictVilonia
7Russellville School DistrictRussellville
8Lake Hamilton School DistrictPearcy
9Van Buren School DistrictVan Buren
10Harrison School DistrictHarrison
11Siloam Springs School DistrictSiloam Springs
12Searcy School DistrictSearcy
13Alma School DistrictAlma
14Melbourne School DistrictMelbourne
15Jonesboro School DistrictJonesboro
16Farmington School DistrictFarmington
17Salem School DistrictSalem
18Sheridan School DistrictSheridan
19Greene Co. Tech School Dist.Paragould
20Bismarck School DistrictBismarck
21Valley Springs School DistrictValley Springs
22Pottsville School DistrictPottsville
23Genoa Central School DistrictTexarkana
24Gravette School DistrictGravette
25Charleston School DistrictCharleston
26Brookland School DistrictBrookland
27Mountain Home School DistrictMountain Home
28Paragould School DistrictParagould
29Southside School DistrictBatesville
30Heber Springs School DistrictHeber Springs
31Dequeen School DistrictDe Queen
32Ozark School DistrictOzark
33White Hall School DistrictWhite Hall
34Pea Ridge School DistrictPea Ridge
35Searcy County School DistrictMarshall
36Dover School DistrictDover
37Nashville School DistrictNashville
38Batesville School DistrictBatesville
39Nettleton School DistrictJonesboro
40Mena School DistrictMena
41Nemo Vista School DistrictCenter Ridge
42Eureka Springs School DistrictEureka Springs
43Manila School DistrictManila
44Mountain View School DistrictMountain View
45Emerson-Taylor School DistrictEmerson
46Clinton School DistrictClinton
47Wynne School DistrictWynne
48Elkins School DistrictElkins
49Jackson Co. School DistrictTuckerman
50Clarksville School DistrictClarksville
51Bergman School DistrictBergman
52Dardanelle School DistrictDardanelle
53Highland School DistrictHardy
54Danville School DistrictDanville
55Bauxite School DistrictBauxite
56El Dorado School DistrictEl Dorado
57Pocahontas School DistrictPocahontas
58West Memphis School DistrictWest Memphis
59Cave City School DistrictCave City
60Fouke School DistrictFouke
61Glen Rose School DistrictMalvern
62Beebe School DistrictBeebe
63Mccrory School DistrictMccrory
64Prairie Grove School DistrictPrairie Grove
65Mt. Vernon/Enola School Dist.Mt Vernon
66County Line School DistrictBranch
67Cleveland County School Dist.Rison
68Parkers Chapel School Dist.El Dorado
69Quitman School DistrictQuitman
70Texarkana School DistrictTexarkana
71Marion School DistrictMarion
72South Side School DistrictBee Branch
73Scranton School DistrictScranton
74Ouachita School DistrictDonaldson
75Centerpoint School DistrictAmity
76Monticello School DistrictMonticello
77Fountain Lake School DistrictHot Springs
78Gentry School DistrictGentry
79Corning School DistrictCorning
80Rose Bud School DistrictRose Bud
81Des Arc School DistrictDes Arc
82Lavaca School DistrictLavaca
83Hot Springs School DistrictHot Springs
84Concord School DistrictConcord
85Armorel School DistrictArmorel
86Atkins School DistrictAtkins
87Magnet Cove School Dist.Malvern
88Alpena School DistrictAlpena
89Riverside School DistrictLake City
90Hackett School DistrictHackett
91Pangburn School DistrictPangburn
92Poyen School DistrictPoyen
93Hamburg School DistrictHamburg
94Harmony Grove School DistrictBenton
95Gosnell School DistrictGosnell
96Mammoth Spring School DistrictMammoth Spring
97Perryville School DistrictPerryville
98So. Conway Co. School DistrictMorrilton
99Paris School DistrictParis
100Buffalo Is. Central Sch. Dist.Monette


The following variables contributed to the ranking: number of students (K-12), graduation rate, school funding per student, student to teacher ratio, percent of students scoring above proficient in standardized state Math test, percent of students scoring above proficient in standardized state Reading and Language test. Data from a total of 10,247 public school districts were used to compute a score for each school district. The following states were omitted due to lack of sufficient data: Hawaii, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Utah, and Virginia. Note that high schools in some states have their own independent districts.

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