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Kansas is quietly one of the best states in the nation in terms of K-12 education, achieving high outcomes while spending less money per pupil than other high-ranking states. This standard of excellence is reflected in the state’s five best school districts, as each one excels academically, and has earned its share of merits. 

The best school district in Kansas is Unified School District 232, which comprises 12 schools serving over 7,400 students hailing from several communities in Johnston County. USD 232 boasts a high record of achievement in both academics and co-curricular activities and has been recognized with numerous awards over the years. 

Maize Unified School District 266 is Kansas’ #2 public school system. The district’s 15-year-long strategic plan known as “Journey to Excellence” has been a great success, resulting in high levels of math and language arts proficiency and a 99% graduation rate in 2018. 

Placing 3rd in the state of Kansas is USD 265 Goddard Public Schools, serving over 5,500 students in the Goddard and Wichita region. Goddard Public Schools effectively prepares its students for higher education, reflected in the 87% of students that go on to enroll in 2 or 4-year colleges post-graduation.

Gardner Edgerton School District 231 earns the 4th spot in the ranking of Kansas’ best school districts. A medium-sized district of 11 schools with an enrollment of around 6,100, USD 231 boasts high-end facilities and is home to three schools that have earned National Blue Ribbon honors. 

Auburn-Washburn Unified School District 437 rounds out the ranking of Kansas’ top five public school districts. Serving an enrollment of 6,400 students, USD 437 balances its stellar academics with a wide variety of co-curricular activities available for students to participate in. 

Top School Districts in Kansas, 2020

RankSchool DistrictCity
1De SotoDe Soto
2MaizeMaize
3GoddardGoddard
4Gardner EdgertonGardner
5Auburn WashburnTopeka
6Geary County SchoolsJunction City
7DerbyDerby
8SalinaSalina
9Dodge CityDodge City
10Manhattan-OgdenManhattan
11Valley Center Pub SchValley Center
12SeamanTopeka
13HaysvilleHaysville
14LouisburgLouisburg
15LansingLansing
16Shawnee HeightsTecumseh
17RenwickAndale
18Jefferson WestMeriden
19BuhlerBuhler
20HaysHays
21Piper-Kansas CityKansas City
22Rock CreekWestmoreland
23HesstonHesston
24Basehor-LinwoodBasehor
25Garden CityGarden City
26ChapmanChapman
27Labette CountyAltamont
28CheneyCheney
29Prairie HillsSabetha
30SterlingSterling
31PaolaPaola
32HoltonHolton
33AugustaAugusta
34VermillionVermillion
35PittsburgPittsburg
36Chanute Public SchoolsChanute
37EmporiaEmporia
38LeavenworthLeavenworth
39Rose Hill Public SchoolsRose Hill
40AbileneAbilene
41IndependenceIndependence
42Sedgwick Public SchoolsSedgwick
43Hutchinson Public SchoolsHutchinson
44Frontenac Public SchoolsFrontenac
45Silver LakeSilver Lake
46InmanInman
47MulvaneMulvane
48Southern Lyon CountyHartford
49TonganoxieTonganoxie
50El DoradoEl Dorado
51Riley CountyRiley
52Nemaha CentralSeneca
53ClearwaterClearwater
54BeloitBeloit
55LiberalLiberal
56Baldwin CityBaldwin City
57Baxter SpringsBaxter Springs
58OsawatomieOsawatomie
59HumboldtHumboldt
60Valley HeightsWaterville
61HalsteadHalstead
62CircleTowanda
63Kaw ValleySt. Marys
64JayhawkMound City
65Bonner SpringsBonner Springs
66GirardGirard
67MoundridgeMoundridge
68EudoraEudora
69Santa Fe TrailScranton
70WellsvilleWellsville
71BurlingtonBurlington
72Norton Community SchoolsNorton
73North Ottawa CountyMinneapolis
74Remington-WhitewaterWhitewater
75MontezumaMontezuma
76McphersonMcpherson
77Oskaloosa Public SchoolsOskaloosa
78Durham-Hillsboro-LehighHillsboro
79WabaunseeAlma
80HiawathaHiawatha
81Clay CenterClay Center
82Scott CountyScott City
83Central HeightsRichmond
84GarnettGarnett
85NewtonNewton
86EastonEaston
87WamegoWamego
88BarnesBarnes
89Great BendGreat Bend
90GoodlandGoodland
91Caney ValleyCaney
92Morris CountyCouncil Grove
93Central PlainsHolyrood
94HolcombHolcomb
95Ell-SalineBrookville
96Kingman - NorwichKingman
97WellingtonWellington
98HoisingtonHoisington
99Ft LarnedLarned
100EurekaEureka

Methodology

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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Jason
 

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