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Bronxville School District Ninth Richest in U.S.

BRONXVILLE, N.Y. –  The Bronxville school district is the ninth wealthiest in the nation, and that has a positive effect on the educational success of it students, according to a report released Wednesday by financial news and opinion web site 24/7 Wall St.

The study confirmed the popular belief that students who attend schools in wealthier school districts have better graduation rates and test scores. These schools also are often rated higher in independent rankings of academic success, the report said.

Just two weeks ago, Newsweek magazine ranked Bronxville High School 40th among public schools nationwide, second best in the state and fourth in the Northeast. And earlier in May, U.S. News and World Report listed the high school as 39th in the nation for math and science.

“It’s good news, but I hope all school districts can look for ways to make sure every child gets a good education,” said Maria Toledo, whose daughter attends the high school. “Wealth is like a circle, and education is everything to reach that.”

Several other parents who asked not to be identified noted that the study simply reflects the income level concentrated in the small community and the parental involvement and commitment to the schools.

“It is what it is,” one mother said upon learning of the recent ranking.

According to 24/7 Wall St., all but one of the richest school districts are based in commuter towns of New York City in Westchester, N.Y., or Fairfield County, Conn.  Leading the group was Scarsdale, with Darien, Conn., ranked 10th.

Other Westchester school districts making the top 10 are: Chappaqua Central School District (fourth); Briarcliff Manor Union Free School District (fifth); Byram Hills Central School District (sixth); and Edgemont Union Free School District (seventh).

“Children who attend these schools are more likely to earn a college degree than the national average,” according to the report.

The site noted the report was compiled using U.S. census data from 2006 to 2010 to determine median income, academic test scores for all school districts from housing information site Trulia and academic performance for each district from the 2012 U.S. News Best High Schools, the 2012 Newsweek Top High Schools and individual district websites. 24/7 Wall St. also said it contacted local assessor’s offices to obtain average property taxes and obtained information on school funding from the National Center of Education Statistics.

During the studied period of 2006 to 2010, the median household income in Bronxville was $178,465, with 55.6 percent of households earning $200,000 or more and only 1.8 percent having an income of less than $10,000. Bronxville schools spent $27,980 per student, with 84 percent of the school district’s expenses locally funded by homeowners who paid an average of $43,000 in property taxes each year, according to the report.

In contrast, the poorest school district in the country, Barbourville Independent School District, Ky., had one-third of its households living below the poverty line with a median income of $16,607 and 0 percent of households earning $200,000 or more during the same period, according to the report. That school district spent $8,178 per student and only 16 percent of it was funded locally.

“Bronxville’s average property tax bill alone is more than twice the median household income of any of the poorest school districts on this list. By comparison, as little as 6 percent of school revenue is generated by local taxes in the poorest school districts, with state and federal funding making up the difference,” the report notes in its summary introduction.

A complete list of the top 10 richest and top 10 poorest school districts is available on the publication’s website .

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