At a time when parents are facing difficult decisions about when and where to send their children to school, a new study by WalletHub points to the wide variance in quality among the nation's state public school systems.

The personal finance website evaluated all states and the District of Columbia on the quality and safety of their school systems, using 33 metrics to rank them from the best to the worst.

The study looked at school system performance, funding, safety, class size and instructor credentials, according to WalletHub.

The report noted that the quality of public schools is an important issue since most people can't afford private schools.

"Based on how schools handle coronavirus, some parents may decide to move their children to different schools in the future. Unfortunately, most parents can’t afford to place their children in exclusive, private or preparatory schools that give their students greater individual attention," the report said. "For the majority of U.S. families, public education is the only option. But the quality of public school systems varies widely from state to state and is often a question of funding."

The following state public school systems, in ascending order, were deemed the best by WalletHub:

10. Maryland

The state's school systems ranked 11th for quality and ninth for safety.