While the U.S. is one of the most educated countries in the world, it doesn’t provide the same quality elementary school or secondary school education to all students. In many states, more affluent school districts receive a greater amount of funding per student than poorer districts.
Discrepancies between the rich and poor have been exacerbated even more this year by the COVID-19 pandemic. Low-income students have suffered the greatest “learning loss” due to partial or total remote learning. One contributing factor is that people in low-income districts are less likely to have the technological resources they need.
States that provide equitable funding to all school districts can help prevent poor students from having lower graduation rates, lower rates of pursuing higher education and smaller future incomes than their wealthy peers. The difference is dramatic: College graduates have $524 - $1,112 higher median weekly earnings than people with a high school diploma and no college experience, depending on the degree.
Alaska has the 15th least equitable school districts in the U.S. overall, but some districts within the state are fairer than others. To find out where school funding is distributed most equitably, WalletHub scored 53 districts in Alaska based on two metrics: average household income and expenditures for public elementary and secondary schools per pupil. Read on for the district ranking and a complete description of our methodology.
Note: For visual purposes, we included only the top 5 school districts by enrollment from each category.
Most & Least Equitable School Districts in Alaska
|Rank*||School District||Score||Expeditures for Public Elementary and Secondary Schools per Pupil||Income by School District|
|1||Yakutat School District||0.82||$24,149||$71,607|
|2||Dillingham City School District||0.99||$23,313||$74,524|
|3||Skagway School District||1.36||$22,922||$73,906|
|4||Juneau Borough School District||2.81||$17,377||$88,390|
|5||Annette Island School District||4.39||$32,838||$56,188|
|6||Chatham School District||4.47||$30,870||$60,461|
|7||Lower Kuskokwim School District||4.71||$33,490||$54,986|
|8||Nome Public Schools||5.15||$19,831||$84,574|
|9||Hydaburg City School District||5.44||$43,598||$33,750|
|10||Southwest Region School District||6.01||$37,030||$40,750|
|11||Klawock City School District||9.47||$34,569||$55,625|
|12||Anchorage School District||9.55||$15,421||$84,928|
|13||Kodiak Island Borough School District||9.79||$20,579||$85,839|
|14||Tanana City School District||10.48||$35,941||$40,313|
|15||Sitka School District||12.05||$19,938||$73,682|
|16||Delta-Greely School District||13.33||$16,068||$81,196|
|17||Pribilof School District||13.76||$25,938||$59,750|
|18||Fairbanks North Star Borough School District||14.34||$17,735||$76,992|
|19||Hoonah City School District||14.93||$34,398||$59,375|
|20||Petersburg Borough School District||15.70||$20,624||$69,948|
|21||Bering Strait School District||16.12||$32,225||$44,797|
|22||Ketchikan Gateway Borough School District||16.30||$19,155||$72,728|
|23||Kake City School District||17.35||$36,260||$56,875|
|24||Southeast Island School District||17.47||$40,408||$48,050|
|25||Valdez City School District||17.78||$23,238||$85,085|
|26||Kuspuk School District||18.74||$42,779||$43,750|
|27||Yupiit School District||20.08||$34,579||$37,292|
|28||Saint Mary'S School District||22.88||$31,342||$42,500|
|29||Alaska Gateway School District||23.82||$38,777||$55,486|
|30||Cordova City School District||24.74||$20,803||$94,625|
|31||Northwest Arctic Borough School District||25.34||$36,689||$60,906|
|32||Lake And Peninsula Borough School District||25.59||$44,578||$44,135|
|33||Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District||26.27||$14,989||$75,493|
|34||Copper River School District||27.14||$19,822||$64,583|
|35||Unalaska City School District||28.11||$21,718||$94,750|
|36||Kashunamiut School District||29.97||$30,168||$40,625|
|37||Denali Borough School District||30.51||$10,864||$81,719|
|38||Yukon Flats School District||30.61||$52,189||$30,909|
|39||Kenai Peninsula Borough School District||31.55||$17,859||$66,064|
|40||Lower Yukon School District||32.98||$31,575||$35,745|
|41||Iditarod Area School District||33.14||$30,320||$38,333|
|42||Haines Borough School District||33.52||$21,019||$58,059|
|43||Wrangell Public School District||38.95||$21,393||$53,894|
|44||Aleutians East Borough School District||42.99||$37,898||$69,250|
|45||Craig City School District||44.54||$15,331||$63,438|
|46||Chugach School District||45.48||$15,206||$63,125|
|47||North Slope Borough School District||54.08||$36,416||$79,306|
|48||Galena City School District||60.58||$6,621||$72,188|
|49||Pelican City School District||66.33||$51,083||$55,417|
|50||Bristol Bay Borough School District||75.43||$42,346||$79,808|
|51||Yukon-Koyukuk School District||89.78||$12,685||$41,080|
|52||Nenana City School District||90.24||$8,979||$48,750|
|53||Aleutian Region School District||256.88||$104,556||$58,750|
In order to rank the states with the most and least equitable school districts, WalletHub first scored 12,927 school districts throughout the U.S. based on two metrics: average household income and expenditures for public elementary and secondary schools per pupil.
For expenditures, for each 1 percent above the state's average we removed 1 point from a base score of 50 points for each district. For household income, for each 1 percent above the state's average we added 1 point to a base score of 50 points for each district. The inverse was true for each 1 percent below the state's average.
The final score for each district was calculated by taking the absolute difference between the score for expenditures and the score for household income. We then ranked the districts based on the total score, with the lowest value, representing the most equitable, being ranked 1.
Sources: Data used to create this ranking were collected from the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Center for Education Statistics.