According to the U.S. Census Bureau, education was the largest expenditure for state and local governments in 2012, amounting to $869.2 billion. A study by The Brookings Institute finds that real spending per pupil has increased 90% over the past 30 years, but capital outlays on education have decreased by 7.9%. Therefore, how efficient local governments invest tax collections in education has become an important factor for the quality of a certain school district. WalletHub staffer Richie Bernado and his team of data crunchers run a thorough data analysis to highlight the 10 cities with the most efficiency in education investments.
Bernardo and his teammates address the question by calculating the return on educational investment for 112 of the most populated U.S. cities, by dividing each city's aggregated standardized test scores in reading and math for grade 8 by its total education spending per capita. Then, they normalize the data by four socioeconomic factors, including poverty rate, median household income, percentage of children in single-parent families, percentage of households that do not speak English as their first language.
The top 10 cities that are most efficient education investors are: New Orleans, La., Miami, Fla., Birmingham, Ala., Mobile, Ala., Hialeah, Fla., Philadelphia, Pa., Richmond, Va., Dayton, Ohio, Orlando, Fla., and Cleveland, Ohio.