All those responsible for providing public education seek to provide the best education possible with the money available to them, still variables in local economies can have a large effect on how much money a district receives.  

According to personal finance firm, WalletHub, using data collected from of the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Center for Education Statistics, ranked all the school districts in Tennessee according to equity.

The results show Coffee County Schools ranked 28th out of 140 districts, falling just below Franklin County at 24th. Tullahoma fared best among local districts in the comparison at 22, while Manchester City, came in 92nd, and Moore County was ranked 114th.

The data does not imply any commentary on quality of education, only compares spending by schools in context of the overall wealth of the population. For instance, Shelby County has one of the highest ranking expenditures and lowest incomes, while Rutherford County has a low expenditure system and a comparatively high income population. Williamson County’s per pupil spending is near that of Coffee County Schools, yet the average income there is listed as over $120,000.     

Districts were scored by taking the absolute difference between the score for expenditures (a calculation based on state average) and the score for household income. The districts were ranked by total score, with the lowest value, representing the most equitable, being ranked 1.

“If we ensure that all school districts have equitable funding, that will help to level the playing field for students in less affluent communities. It will improve graduation rates in previously underfunded districts and lead to greater rates of pursuing higher education and better future incomes,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “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.”

Most & Least Equitable School Districts in Tennessee

Rank*

School District

Score

Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary Schools per Pupil

Income by School District

1

Jackson-Madison County School District

0.22

$9,237

$46,223

2

Van Buren County School District

0.26

$10,981

$37,127

22

Tullahoma City School District

5.34

$10,124

$44,096

24

Franklin County School District

5.88

$9,264

$48,724

28

Coffee County School District

7.41

$9,087

$50,333

55

Bedford County School District

12.76

$7,514

$48,945

 

 

 

 

 

84

Grundy County School District

19.33

$9,263

$36,987

92

Manchester Town School District

22.80

$10,689

$49,350

114

Lynchburg-Moore County Schools

29.67

$10,739

$52,294

115

Murfreesboro City School District

29.68

$9,537

$58,414

126

Rutherford County School District

39.22

$8,812

$66,545

131

Metro Nashville Public Schools

52.49

$11,999

$56,507

136

Franklin Special School District

114.16

$13,758

$76,269

140

Williamson County School District

158.91

$9,192

$120,338

*1=Most Equitable

 

John has been with the Manchester Times since May 2011. He covers Lifestyles in addition to handling education reporting and general news assignments.John has won Tennessee Press Association awards for Best News Photo and placed in numerous other categories. John is a 1994 graduate of Tullahoma High School, a graduate of Motlow State Community College and earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Middle Tennessee State University. He lives in Tullahoma, and enjoys the outdoors with his wife, Mitsy, and his 17-month-old, Sean.

Staff Writer

John has won Tennessee Press Association awards for Best News Photo and placed in numerous other categories. He is a graduate of THS, Motlow and MTSU. He lives in Tullahoma, and enjoys the outdoors with his wife, Mitsy, and his 17-month-old, Sean.

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