Best and worst state school systems, ranked

Written By Chad Merda Posted: 08/05/2014, 10:51am

Education is a key political issue, not only from a funding perspective, but also when looking at the quality of education students are getting. And it can have a long-term payoff.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, those with a bachelor’s degree earn 59 percent more than those who only graduate high school and the risk of unemployment shrinks with further education.

The Economic Policy Institute reports that income levels are higher in states that have a well-educated and more productive workforce.

So if you have kids, which state will give your child a better education to make all those things happen?

WalletHub took a look and analyzed 12 key metrics, including dropout rates, test scores, and student-teacher ratios to rank the best and worst school systems across the United States.

Illinois falls into the middle of the pack, tied with Maine with an overall rank of 17th.

Click on each state to see its ranking:


For the most part, education spending is closely tied to its overall performance.

Vermont ranks No. 1 in spending, and is has the No. 3 school system ranking. Illinois ranks 15th in spending and is 17th in performance.

One glaring exception is New York, which is No. 2 in spending but only ranks 20th in overall performance.

Here’s the breakdown:


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