Known for its long, beautiful coastline, historical landmarks dating back to colonial America, and mixture of cultures, South Carolina also has a number of excellent public school districts serving the state’s youth.

The best public school system in South Carolina is Fort Mill School District, one of four districts serving York County (and the first of two in the state’s top five). Comprising nine elementary schools, five middle schools, and two high schools (with one more set to open in August 2019), Fort Mills Schools is smaller than most in the state, yet also one of the fastest growing. The district earned the honor of accreditation by AdvancED, a distinction only bestowed upon districts meeting a high standard of academic excellence.

South Carolina’s #2 ranked school system is Clover School District, made up of 12 schools also serving York County. CSD outperforms a majority of the state’s school districts, with students achieving 70% proficiency in math.

The third spot in the ranking belongs to District Five of Lexington and Richland Counties. Nationally renowned as an excellent school system, a remarkable 17 students from School District Five’s four high schools recently earned the distinction of becoming National Merit Scholarship finalists.

Rounding out South Carolina’s top five school districts are Dorchester School District Two (#4), comprising 25 schools based in Summerville, SC, and Lexington School District 1 (#5) of Lexington County, SC.

Top School Districts in South Carolina, 2018

State RankSchool DistrictState
1York 04South Carolina
2York 02South Carolina
3Lexington 05South Carolina
4Dorchester 02South Carolina
5Lexington 01South Carolina
6Anderson 01South Carolina
7Spartanburg 01South Carolina
8Charleston 01South Carolina
9Spartanburg 05South Carolina
10Anderson 04South Carolina
11Anderson 02South Carolina
12Spartanburg 02South Carolina
13Greenville 01South Carolina
14Abbeville 60South Carolina
15Pickens 01South Carolina
16Berkeley 01South Carolina
17Horry 01South Carolina
18Anderson 05South Carolina
19Richland 02South Carolina
20York 03South Carolina
21Beaufort 01South Carolina
22Spartanburg 03South Carolina
23Spartanburg 04South Carolina
24Edgefield 01South Carolina
25Kershaw 01South Carolina
26Oconee 01South Carolina
27Lancaster 01South Carolina
28Greenwood 52South Carolina
29York 01South Carolina
30Florence 01South Carolina
31Lexington 02South Carolina
32Spartanburg 06South Carolina
33Clarendon 03South Carolina
34Spartanburg 07South Carolina
35Dorchester 04South Carolina
36Laurens 56South Carolina
37Aiken 01South Carolina
38Laurens 55South Carolina
39Saluda 01South Carolina
40Bamberg 01South Carolina
41Anderson 03South Carolina
42Georgetown 01South Carolina
43Chesterfield 01South Carolina
44Richland 01South Carolina
45Calhoun 01South Carolina
46Newberry 01South Carolina
47Cherokee 01South Carolina
48Union 01South Carolina
49Dillon 03South Carolina
50Greenwood 51South Carolina
51Darlington 01South Carolina
52Lexington 03South Carolina
53Barnwell 29South Carolina
54Florence 05South Carolina
55Hampton 01South Carolina
56Greenwood 50South Carolina
57Mccormick 01South Carolina
58Florence 02South Carolina
59Clarendon 02South Carolina
60Lexington 04South Carolina
61Fairfield 01South Carolina
62Dillon 04South Carolina
63Colleton 01South Carolina
64Chester 01South Carolina
65Orangeburg 05South Carolina
66Barnwell 45South Carolina
67Florence 03South Carolina
68Orangeburg 04South Carolina
69Marlboro 01South Carolina
70Clarendon 01South Carolina
71Orangeburg 03South Carolina
72Barnwell 19South Carolina
73Williamsburg 01South Carolina
74Florence 04South Carolina
75Hampton 02South Carolina
76Jasper 01South Carolina
77Bamberg 02South Carolina
78Allendale 01South Carolina
79Lee 01South Carolina


The following contributed to the ranking: student performance (math and reading test scores), dropout rates, school funding, and area poverty rates. Data was collected from a total of 9,577 school districts.

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