The state has considerable room for improvement in its kindergarten enrollment rate. By eighth grade, Maine’s reading proficiency rate overtakes that of Rhode Island but still trails other New England states. Fourth grade reading proficiency rates are at least 40% across the rest of New England. Additionally, the state’s public schools report more high scoring advanced placement test scores — adjusted to the 11th and 12th grade student body — than all but two other states. 12,526. Also, overall K-12 student achievement in Massachusetts is better than in any other state. Half or more of fourth and eighth graders in Massachusetts are proficient in math. For reference, only about 39% of fourth graders and 32% of eighth graders nationwide are proficient in math. For example, 43.5% of fourth graders and 43.3% of eighth graders in the state’s public schools are proficient in reading, each the fourth largest share of any state and well above the comparable nationwide shares of 34.8% and 32.7%, respectively. Every child in the state lives in a district where per-pupil expenditures are at or above the national average.

Partially as a result, every public school student in the state benefits from greater spending on a per pupil basis than the national average. 18,665 per pupil in New York, the third highest expenditure of all states. 4,290 more in funding per pupil then those with the lowest funding. Equity in education funding has been a long-standing concern in the United States, and no state has particularly well-distributed educational resources or outcomes. Though Maine’s schools outrank those in the vast majority of states, they trail the education systems of every other New England state. Well-funded public school systems in turn help provide these early education programs. The public education investment, which funds school staff, supplies, and supports pre-K and kindergarten programs, helps make the state’s schools third best in the nation. Kindergarten enrollment in the state, at 80.7%, is third highest in the country. The percentage of eligible students enrolled in pre-K and kindergarten programs, at 56.6% and 83.0%, respectively, are each among the highest of all states. Of the state’s 3- and 4-year-olds, 65.6% are enrolled in preschool, compared to the 47.7% of the nation’s preschool-aged children. Some 88.2% of public high school students in the state graduate with a diploma, compared to 84.1% of high school students nationwide.

Some 45.4% of fourth graders and 40.8% of eighth graders are proficient in math, compared to, respectively, 39.4% and 32.1% nationwide. Some 35.6% of fourth graders in Maine are proficient in reading — a larger share than the 34.8% of fourth graders nationwide who are but a smaller share than any other state in the region. For example, 45.9% and 45.0% of fourth and eighth graders are proficient in reading — each second largest share among states. Some 41.2% of fourth graders and 39.1% of eighth graders in the state are proficient in reading, each the seventh largest shares among states. Between 2003 and 2015, the achievement gap between eighth graders living in poverty and their wealthier peers narrowed by the largest amount of all states. Additionally, 69.4% of children in the state live in families with incomes that are at least double the poverty level — one of the largest such shares of any state.

Public school students in the state are more likely to be able to read at the appropriate level than students in the vast majority of other states. Lake Oconee Academy (LOA) is a public charter school to which all prospective students must apply. And unlike beach towns, whose main tourist attractions close in the off-season, most lake towns have activities that remain open no matter the season, providing a number of activities for visitors. If you have access to some fabric crayons and wax paper, you can use them to draw and color designs with Indian themes, such as suns, flutes, tipis, or other icons. Fill the basket with seasonal books you can read before bedtime. The state allocates 4.3% of tax revenue to education, nearly the largest such share among states and well above the 3.3% average nationwide. Partially as a result, only about 45% of students in the state live in districts with above average per-pupil spending. With a strong tax base, Maryland’s education spending is relatively high. One of the most telling metrics for any school system is its high school graduation rate, and Wisconsin’s is better than most. Even top-ranked states in education do not necessarily lead uniformly in the three categories measured — chances of success, school finance, and achievements — but Massachusetts does.

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