State traces possible link between brains, financial brawn

LISBON -What Columbiana County school district has the highest average household income? That would be Crestview. The lowest? The Wellsville school district.

How about the school district with the highest percentage of residents with a college degree? East Palestine. The school district with the fewest college graduates: Southern Local.

These are just some of the facts contained in a recent analysis of the new state report card system that focused on a possible link between scores and the relative poverty or wealth of a district.

The analysis was performed by the Ohio School Boards Association, in conjunction with the Ohio Association of School Business Officials and the Buckeye Association of School Administrators.

The most reported aspect of the study was the link between classroom performance and poverty, with schools that scored higher on the academic performance measurement generally being those with higher incomes, and vice versa.

The study compared the districts based on:

-Average household income, 2011 figures.

– Percentage of households at 100 percent of the 2012 federal poverty level, which was $23,050 for a family of four, excluding any other forms of government assistance.

– Percentage of residents in the district with a college education.

– Academic performance index, with 120 points being a perfect score.

As mentioned above, Crestview had the highest average household income, at $50,172, and it finished third in the county in terms of academic performance. Columbiana had the highest academic performance, but it had the sixth highest average income out of the 11 school districts in the county.

Meanwhile, East Liverpool, which finished last academically, had the second lowest household income at $35,704. Not surprisingly, it also had the highest poverty level, at 71 percent.

Wellsville, with the lowest household income of $34,949, had the second-highest poverty rate at 69.7 percent. The district was tied for the third worst academic performance score.

Following is a breakdown of those statistics by school districts:

DistrictAverage IncomePoverty RateCollege GraduatesAcademic Performance

Columbiana$44,92137.7 percent20 percent103.3

United Local$46,87042.8 percent16.8 percent100.6

Crestview$50,17241.6 percent18.1 percent99.6

Beaver Local$47,58835 percent19.2 percent99.3

Lisbon$46,52955.8 percent15.1 percent99

Salem$41,83948.7 percent21.5 percent98.8

Leetonia$40,76550.7 percent17.6 percent98.2

Wellsville$34,94969.7 percent18.1 percent96.1

Southern Local$48,57055 percent13.7 percent96.1

East Palestine$40,48651 percent24 percent94.3

East Liverpool$35,70471 percent18 percent88.9