Skip to Content

### Top 20 Locations in the US with the Best Public Schools According to Niche Study

(NEXSTAR) – When it comes to families with young children, residing in an area with excellent public education not only provides peace of mind but also translates to substantial cost savings.

For parents seeking top-notch K-12 public schooling options, exploring suburban areas might be the way to go, as indicated by Niche’s annual study.

Topping the list of the 2024 Places with the Best Public Schools in America is Scarsdale, a suburb located near New York City with a population of approximately 18,000 residents.

According to a commenter, “I grew up in Eastchester and then moved to Scarsdale, it is a beautiful, quaint town. Beautiful homes and town, the kinds you see in movies.”

Scarsdale in Westchester County stands out with A+ ratings for its public schools and family-friendly environment. However, the luxury comes at a price, with the average home value reaching $1.61 million as of February.

Securing the second spot is West Lake Hills, a Texas suburb situated outside Austin, with a population of 3,360. Described as offering a rural ambiance where most residents own their homes, West Lake Hills boasts A+ ratings for public schools, family friendliness, job opportunities, and health & fitness. Despite receiving C+ grades for diversity and cost of living, this Austin suburb is also recognized as the top retirement destination in Texas by Niche.

Here are the top 20 places in the U.S. with the best public schools in 2024:

Rank Name Location
1 Scarsdale Suburb of New York City
2 West Lake Hills Suburb of Austin, Texas
3 Rollingwood Suburb of Austin, Texas
4 Long Grove Suburb of Chicago
5 Lincolnshire Suburb of Chicago
6 Roosevelt Borough in New Jersey’s Monmouth County
7 Devon Suburb of Philadelphia
8 Berwyn Suburb of Philadelphia
9 Chesterbrook Suburb of Philadelphia
10 Buffalo Grove Suburb of Chicago
11 Woodbury Suburb of New York City
12 Lexington Suburb of Boston
13 Syosset Suburb of New York City
14 Radnor Township Suburb of Philadelphia
15 Hinsdale Suburb of Chicago
16 Fairbanks Ranch Suburb of San Diego
17 Rancho Santa Fe Suburb of San Diego
18 Del Mar Suburb of San Diego
19 Clarendon Hills Suburb of Chicago
20 Los Altos Hills Suburb of San Jose, California

For the complete 2024 rankings, visit the Niche website.

Niche’s methodology relies on public data from the Department of Education, U.S. Census, National Center for Education Statistics, and other sources, alongside “millions of reviews.”

Education and the impact of the pandemic

The aftermath of COVID-19 continues to challenge American schools as they strive to recover from the disruptions caused by the pandemic, affecting the education of millions of young individuals.

An analysis conducted in December 2023 by the Associated Press revealed that approximately 50,000 students were missing from various educational settings in the U.S., including public, private, and homeschool environments.

While the reasons behind these students’ absence from the education system remain somewhat unclear, experts suggest that factors such as homelessness, loss of interest or motivation, mental health struggles, or the need to take on adult responsibilities may have contributed to this phenomenon.

Comparing the latest data from fall 2022 to the previous year, there has been an improvement, with the number of unaccounted-for students decreasing from over 230,000 to 50,000.

However, the educational landscape has not fully returned to its pre-pandemic state. The AP’s nationwide analysis indicates a persistent disengagement from public schools as individuals explore alternative educational avenues. Private schooling saw an almost 8% increase, while homeschooling experienced a growth of over 25% between fall 2019 and fall 2022 in states maintaining credible enrollment data for these sectors. In contrast, public school enrollment remained subdued, with a decline of over 1 million students, according to the AP analysis.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.