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Best School Districts in Texas

Lots of people are moving to Texas for work and family.1 But if you’ve got kids, you can’t pack up and take off on a whim. You’ve got to make a plan—starting with where they’ll go to school.

We’ll cover the 10 best school districts in Texas. Plus, get the scoop on how the Lone Star State’s top high schools compare at the national level.

Let’s dig in!

10 Best School Districts in Texas

Most public school districts in Texas are independent. Each district runs separately from the city or county where it’s located. So some schools might serve students from several counties. That can feel weird if you’re from a place where schools are tied to a town or county. But that’s how they do it in Texas.

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The Lone Star State has just over 1,200 public school districts, and over 300 of them have received an A rating from the Texas Education Agency (TEA).2 So when it comes to naming the best schools in Texas, there’s a lot to choose from. That means “best schools” lists can be pretty subjective. Still, there’s enough data out there to get a feel for which districts are doing a great job helping students.

We looked at ratings from students, parents and the TEA to decide which schools to include. So without further ado, let’s tour the 10 best school districts in Texas.

1. BASIS Texas Charter Schools

Location

San Antonio and Austin

Number of Schools

6

TEA Score

983

Graduation Rate

100%4

Let’s kick things off with BASIS Texas, the smallest district on our list. It’s part of a national network of charter schools, with campuses in several cities.

Students at BASIS Texas have highest SAT and ACT scores on our list (1352 and 29.9, on average).5 Plus, 97.4% of them pass their college-readiness exams—more than double the state average.6 That’s one reason its Shavano Campus ranks in the top 10 Texas schools—and number 77 in the U.S.7

So, this is definitely one of the best school districts in Texas. But what if you live in a different city, or you want to send your kids to public school? Read on! We’ve got something for you too.

2. Eanes Independent School District

Location

Austin

Number of Schools

10

TEA Score

968

Graduation Rate

99.6%9

Eanes Independent School District has the highest SAT, ACT and college-readiness scores of any public school district on our countdown.10 (BASIS has the best overall scores in these categories, but they’re not a public district.) The scores at Eanes are especially good since it’s in Region 13, where nearly 1 in 4 students go on to graduate college.11

And while teachers earn slightly below-average salaries, Eanes is still second on the list of Best Places to Teach in Texas—proving that money isn’t everything.12,13 

3. Highland Park Independent School District

Location

Dallas

Number of Schools

8

TEA Score

9714

Graduation Rate

99.8%15

Texas has two Highland Park Independent School Districts, but we’re talking about the one in Dallas. TEA gave this district A’s in every category, and students passed college-readiness exams at more than double the state rate.16

Of Highland Park graduates, 97% go to college.17 Highland Park High School is also one of the top 300 high schools in the U.S.—which is a big deal!18

4. Carroll Independent School District

Location

Southlake

Number of Schools

11

TEA Score

9719

Graduation Rate

99.1%20

Carroll Independent School District is a top performer in the greater Fort Worth area. The U.S. Department of Education named five of its schools National Blue Ribbon Schools.21

And 1 in 4 Carroll students take part in gifted and talented programs—triple the state average.22 So it could be a good fit if your child is an academic achiever who enjoys these types of programs.

5. Coppell Independent School District

Location

Coppell

Number of Schools

16

TEA Score

9523

Graduation Rate

98.9%24

Coppell Independent School District puts parents in easy driving distance of Dallas and Fort Worth. It’s a large district—there are 11 elementary schools alone—but it has just 15 students per teacher.25

By the way, the district pays its teachers $4,400 above the state average salary.26 So if you’re looking for a school district that appreciates teachers and offers quality education, Coppell could be it. 

6. Lovejoy Independent School District

Location

Allen

Number of Schools

6

TEA Score

9827

Graduation Rate

100%28

The smallest public school district in our countdown is halfway between Plano and McKinney. Lovejoy Independent School District has 4,200 students, but it’s one of the best school districts in Texas.29 The district has won the State of Texas HEB Excellence in Education Award, and it tied with BASIS Texas for the highest graduation rate and TEA score on our countdown.30

Lovejoy High School is the 52nd best Texas high school and a top 500 U.S. high school.31 And it does a good job emphasizing college readiness: 85% of students take at least one AP® exam.32

7. Allen Independent School District

Location

Allen

Number of Schools

23

TEA Score

9333

Graduation Rate

98.4%34

Like Lovejoy, Allen Independent School District is northeast of Dallas. But this district is way bigger. Allen serves nearly 21,600 students.35 It has 23schools, including a STEAM campus (that’s science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics).36

Its school board has won an HEB Excellence in Education award, and it has an extensive athletic program.37

8. Frisco Independent School District

Location

Frisco

Number of Schools

71

TEA Score

9338

Graduation Rate

98.3%39

Frisco Independent School District is the largest on our list, with over 60,000 students.40 Frisco has award-winning athletic and academic programs, and it’s the 2022 Best Community for Music Education.41

On average, teachers have 10 years of experience—compared to 11 years across the state. So students can enjoy working with new, innovative educators.42

9. Aledo Independent School District

Location

Aledo

Number of Schools

9

TEA Score

9543

Graduation Rate

98.4%44

Aledo Independent School District won the 2021 Outstanding School Board in Texas and 2021 Region 11 Superintendent of the Year awards.45

The class of 2021 earned 222 career certifications and $21.5 million in scholarships.46 That’ll come in handy too: Region 11 has the second-highest college graduation rate in the state.47 Ironically, Aledo has the lowest college-readiness scores on our countdown . . . but they’re still 17.5% above the state average!48

10. South Texas Independent School District

Location

Mercedes

Number of Schools

6

TEA Score

9749

Graduation Rate

98.9%50

South Texas Independent School District has the right name—it sits near the Mexican border and Gulf of Mexico. Students at South Texas can concentrate in science, health and medical professions, extracurricular activities, or college prep. Students can even take virtual courses from sixth through 12th grade.

The district has the most experienced, best-paid teachers on our countdown.51 And its District of Innovation plan gives it extra flexibility, making it more like a charter school.

But if you’re looking for a school that’s focused on standardized test scores, South Texas might not be it. Their students’ SAT and ACT scores are only slightly higher than the state average.52

Best High Schools in Texas

Texas has nearly 2,000 high schools. Here are the top 15 and how they compare at the national level:

School

Texas Rank

U.S. Rank

Location

The School for the Talented and Gifted

1

8

Dallas

Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School

2

20

Dallas

Science and Engineering Magnet School

3

22

Dallas

Liberal Arts and Science Academy

4

34

Austin

Carnegie Vanguard High School

5

40

Houston

Judge Barefoot Sanders Law Magnet

6

48

Dallas

DeBakey High School for Health Professions

7

50

Houston

BASIS San Antonio – Shavano Campus

8

77

San Antonio

Young Women’s Leadership Academy

9

78

San Antonio

Health Careers High School

10

102

San Antonio

IDEA Quest College Preparatory

11

103

Edinburg

IDEA Frontier College Preparatory

12

106

Brownsville

IDEA McAllen College Preparatory

13

114

McAllen

Trinidad Garza Early College at Mt. View

14

118

Dallas

Grand Prairie Fine Arts Academy

15

120

Grand Prairie53

It’s pretty cool that all top 15 high schools in Texas are also in the top 200 U.S. high schools . . . out of nearly 24,000.54 That’s a big deal!

You may have noticed many top high schools let students choose a focus—like health care, women’s leadership, fine arts or college prep. So if your teen knows what they want to do, you may be able to help them find a school that matches their interests.  

How Does Texas Education Compare to the Rest of the U.S.?

Texas ranks 34th in the nation for education.55 That’s based on factors like school performance, preschool enrollment, high school graduation, and the number of adults with college degrees.

If you break it down further, Texas ranks 35th for preschool through high school education and 31st for higher education.56 So when you’re choosing where to live in Texas, check out the local schools to make sure your kids will get the education they (and you) want.

Settling Down in Texas

Texas is a huge state with tons of cities and schools to choose from. Whether you already live in the Lone Star State or you’re looking to move there, you want to find the best place for you and your family. You’re already off to a great start!

Now, you can take the next step to choosing your perfect Texas home. Learn about the cost of living and the safest cities in this state. Once you’ve got it narrowed down to a few places you like, it’s time to bring in the experts.

Make sure to contact our friends at PODS Moving & Storage to get your life packed up and ready. PODS has helped with 6 million moves—giving people like you the flexibility to move on your terms (which is a great way to start living like a true, independent Texan).

A good real estate agent can help you find a home you love in a great neighborhood. And if you want the best of the best, work with a RamseyTrusted real estate agent. They’re top-notch. Plus, they’re part of our Endorsed Local Providers (ELP) program, so you can find an agent who works in your neck of the woods.

Find a RamseyTrusted Texas real estate agent!

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About the author

Ramsey Solutions

Ramsey Solutions has been committed to helping people regain control of their money, build wealth, grow their leadership skills, and enhance their lives through personal development since 1992. Millions of people have used our financial advice through 22 books (including 12 national bestsellers) published by Ramsey Press, as well as two syndicated radio shows and 10 podcasts, which have over 17 million weekly listeners. Learn More.

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