Talent & Education in Rural McLean County

Below are several metrics related to education and the talent pipeline in our rural communities. All metrics except for educational attainment are sourced from Illinois State Board of Education, which also has an interactive dashboard with even more metrics. Educational attainment is sourced from American Community Survey 5-year estimates. 

Our data allows for comparisons between rural school districts in McLean County and with Illinois. 

A high school diploma is the highest education attainment achieved in the largest portion of the population for rural McLean County cities. Something that should be researched further is if residents feel they don't have access or resources for higher education or if a high school diploma is sufficient enough for the types of jobs being taken in these areas. 

With a few minor exceptions, high school dropout rates in rural McLean County districts are much lower than the average in the state of Illinois. Graduation rates are also higher than the average for all of Illinois. 

Average class sizes are split between being above and below the average for Illinois. They are also split between having increased and having decreased in the last 5 years. Heyworth class sizes increased by 5 students on average in the last 5 years and is well above the average for Illinois. Lexington increased by 3.5 but remains below the IL average. The average for Illinois has dropped in the last 5 years. 

Rural districts tend to have fewer financial resources than nearby larger districts. This can contribute to challenges in recruiting and keeping teachers on board, which could contribute to larger than average class sizes. 

Except for Lexington school district, instructional per student spending has been well below the state average. The same goes for operational per student spending in the last few years, although from 2013-2015 Lexington spending was above the Illinois average.