Tonawanda News

October 5, 2013

School districts ranked by affluence

Staff Reports
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — Business First has come out with its rankings for the socioeconomic status of all the school districts in upstate New York with the three school systems in the Tonawandas landing in the middle of the pack.

The list was compiled based on a study of poverty rates, income levels and the percentage of students eligible for free and reduced-price lunches.

Pittsford School District in Monroe County topped the list of 429 districts throughout the state with the highest socioeconomic status.

Locally, Ken-Ton ranked 153, with North Tonawanda at 178 and the City of Tonawanda at 204.

The three Tonawanda school districts came in behind many of the Western New York districts including Cheektowaga-Maryvale and West Seneca. 

The Williamsville School District was the highest-ranked Western New York district on the list coming in at number 7. 

Williamsville was followed by East Aurora at 10 and Orchard Park at 11.

The Grand Island School District ranked at 38.

The three-part formula used in the ranking was designed to identify the school districts whose students benefit from the highest standards of living, along with those who are economically disadvantaged.

The highest rankings went to districts with lower percentages of students who are eligible for free and reduced-price lunches, low youth poverty rates, and high combined wealth ratios. 

The high combined wealth ratio, which is calculated by the New York State Education Department, reflects the property and income wealth within a district, benchmarked against a statewide average of 1.000.

Utica came in at the bottom of the list, with Rochester and Syracuse just ahead of it in the rankings.

The City of Buffalo School District ranked slightly above Rochester, Syracuse and Utica near the bottom.