A good school can lead to a lifetime of opportunities. Myriad data shows that lifetime earnings dramatically increase with every degree obtained. Bachelor’s degree holders will earn an average of roughly $26,000 more each year than high school graduates. And for those who decide that pursuing a college degree is not the best postsecondary option, a good school will provide students with the tools and support to make that choice, and the foundational skills necessary to succeed in the workforce.

For many families, the school district is a top criterion when deciding where to buy a home. But this consideration and ability to choose is not a luxury all families can afford, especially in today’s wildly competitive housing market.

| Check out more lists and rankings from across Tennessee

One important proxy of a quality education is per-student spending. According to the most recent Census data available, the national average per-pupil expenditure in fiscal year 2019 was $13,187. Several recent studies suggest that increased spending per student correlates with higher academic achievement, particularly in districts serving predominantly low-income students. Since public schools are largely funded by property taxes, schools in low-income areas suffer the most from a lack of funding for critical expenditures like staff salaries and benefits, transportation, instructional resources, and support services.

There are more than 13,000 school districts in the U.S., each one slightly different, for better or worse, than the next. However, several common denominators exist and, when compared, can serve as indicators of what makes an impactful district.

Stacker compiled a list of the best school districts in Tennessee using rankings from Niche. Niche ranks school districts based on a variety of criteria including academics (SAT/ACT scores and state proficiency tests), teacher salaries, expenses per student, and access to extracurricular activities.

#10. Arlington Community Schools (Arlington)
– Number of schools: 4 (4,847 students)
– Graduation rate: 97% (57% reading proficient and 61% math proficient)
– Average teacher salary: $61,046 (18:1 student to teacher ratio)

#9. Germantown Municipal School District (Germantown)
– Number of schools: 6 (6,196 students)
– Graduation rate: 95% (63% reading proficient and 66% math proficient)
– Average teacher salary: $57,478 (17:1 student to teacher ratio)

#8. Kingsport City Schools (Kingsport)
– Number of schools: 12 (7,599 students)
– Graduation rate: 94% (43% reading proficient and 47% math proficient)
– Average teacher salary: $59,141 (15:1 student to teacher ratio)

#7. Johnson City Schools (Johnson City)
– Number of schools: 12 (8,098 students)
– Graduation rate: 92% (49% reading proficient and 60% math proficient)
– Average teacher salary: $61,522 (16:1 student to teacher ratio)

#6. Alcoa City Schools (Alcoa)
– Number of schools: 4 (2,134 students)
– Graduation rate: 95% (37% reading proficient and 41% math proficient)
– Average teacher salary: $66,963 (17:1 student to teacher ratio)

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#5. Oak Ridge School District (Oak Ridge)
– Number of schools: 8 (4,775 students)
– Graduation rate: 92% (41% reading proficient and 37% math proficient)
– Average teacher salary: $67,798 (15:1 student to teacher ratio)

#4. Greeneville City Schools (Greeneville)
– Number of schools: 7 (2,940 students)
– Graduation rate: 97% (41% reading proficient and 46% math proficient)
– Average teacher salary: $58,787 (15:1 student to teacher ratio)

#3. Williamson County Schools (Franklin)
– Number of schools: 48 (41,387 students)
– Graduation rate: 97% (67% reading proficient and 71% math proficient)
– Average teacher salary: $50,534 (17:1 student to teacher ratio)

#2. Maryville City Schools (Maryville)
– Number of schools: 7 (5,443 students)
– Graduation rate: 95% (58% reading proficient and 61% math proficient)
– Average teacher salary: $64,940 (17:1 student to teacher ratio)

#1. Collierville Schools (Collierville)
– Number of schools: 9 (9,188 students)
– Graduation rate: 95% (61% reading proficient and 62% math proficient)
– Average teacher salary: $54,202 (16:1 student to teacher ratio)