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. As states decide whether their school districts will have in-person learning this fall, studies show that low-income students will suffer 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 $460 - $1,154 higher median weekly earnings than people with a high school diploma and no college experience, depending on the degree.
West Virginia has the 6th most 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 55 districts in West Virginia 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 7 school districts by enrollment from each category. Rank 1 on the “Expenditures Ranking” means highest expenditures and Rank 1 on “Income Ranking” means lowest income.
Most & Least Equitable School Districts in West Virginia
|Rank*||School District||Score||Expeditures for Public Elementary and Secondary Schools per Pupil||Income by School District|
|1||Jackson County School District||0.67||$11,070||$44,783|
|2||Gilmer County School District||0.83||$13,491||$35,810|
|3||Hancock County School District||1.07||$10,657||$45,580|
|4||Taylor County School District||1.36||$10,501||$47,205|
|5||Wood County School District||1.48||$10,848||$45,958|
|6||Kanawha County School District||4.66||$11,357||$45,426|
|7||Preston County School District||5.78||$9,382||$48,317|
|8||Ritchie County School District||6.38||$11,810||$44,472|
|9||Tucker County School District||7.02||$11,566||$45,655|
|10||Hardy County School District||7.07||$9,537||$47,186|
|11||Wirt County School District||7.56||$11,354||$40,189|
|12||Greenbrier County School District||7.75||$11,641||$39,038|
|13||Raleigh County School District||8.20||$10,717||$42,296|
|14||Mason County School District||8.22||$11,236||$40,347|
|15||Braxton County School District||8.86||$10,663||$42,213|
|16||Wyoming County School District||9.33||$11,190||$40,045|
|17||Fayette County School District||9.88||$11,037||$40,379|
|18||Mineral County Schools||10.45||$11,773||$46,354|
|19||Lincoln County School District||10.91||$11,642||$37,679|
|20||Nicholas County School District||11.82||$11,326||$38,468|
|21||Morgan County School District||12.82||$10,892||$50,661|
|22||Lewis County School District||12.92||$10,943||$39,423|
|23||Cabell County School District||13.13||$11,215||$38,321|
|24||Tyler County School District||13.69||$13,550||$41,108|
|25||Logan County School District||13.93||$11,176||$38,123|
|26||Marion County School District||14.52||$11,638||$48,605|
|27||Pendleton County School District||14.82||$13,653||$41,210|
|28||Monongalia County School District||14.96||$11,335||$49,926|
|29||Mercer County School District||15.31||$10,683||$39,372|
|30||Pocahontas County School District||15.34||$14,117||$39,702|
|31||Calhoun County School District||16.31||$11,040||$37,610|
|32||Clay County School District||16.56||$11,475||$35,875|
|33||Randolph County School District||16.78||$10,053||$41,094|
|34||Upshur County School District||17.14||$10,197||$40,401|
|35||Monroe County School District||17.45||$11,207||$36,493|
|36||Hampshire County School District||17.92||$10,188||$40,099|
|37||Grant County School District||18.13||$9,903||$41,071|
|38||Harrison County School District||18.71||$11,630||$50,433|
|39||Barbour County School District||19.58||$10,136||$39,580|
|40||Wayne County School District||21.93||$10,590||$36,875|
|41||Boone County School District||22.07||$10,101||$38,642|
|42||Marshall County School District||22.99||$13,867||$43,918|
|43||Ohio County School District||23.29||$12,696||$48,418|
|44||Brooke County School District||24.94||$12,523||$49,772|
|45||Webster County School District||25.30||$10,889||$34,312|
|46||Mc Dowell County School District||27.94||$12,665||$26,547|
|47||Summers County School District||29.49||$9,943||$36,049|
|48||Pleasants County School District||31.96||$13,654||$48,563|
|49||Mingo County School District||32.53||$10,864||$31,305|
|50||Berkeley County School District||33.95||$10,655||$60,615|
|51||Roane County School District||34.47||$9,839||$34,300|
|52||Wetzel County School District||34.69||$15,692||$42,125|
|53||Putnam County School District||35.72||$11,124||$59,626|
|54||Doddridge County School District||63.79||$17,878||$46,449|
|55||Jefferson County School District||76.31||$11,269||$76,503|
In order to rank the states with the most and least equitable school districts, WalletHub first scored 12,919 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 of the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Center for Education Statistics.