This report describes the characteristics of the 100 largest public elementary and secondary school
districts in the United States and its jurisdictions. These districts are defined as the 100 largest
according to the size of their student population. The information in this report was provided by
state education agency officials to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) for
inclusion in the Common Core of Data (CCD). The report uses data from the 2005–06 school year
and includes student membership and staff in public schools and school districts in the 50
states, Puerto Rico, the Bureau of Indian Education, the Department of Defense dependents
schools (overseas and domestic), and the four outlying areas (American Samoa, Guam, the
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands).1
This report also includes graduate counts, high school dropout rates, and
graduation rates for the 2004–05 school year and revenues and expenditures
for fiscal year (FY) 2005.
Highlights of the report include the following:
- The 100 largest public school districts, representing less than 1 percent (0.6 percent) of all school districts in the United States and jurisdictions, were responsible for the education of 23 percent of all public school students (table 1).
- The 100 largest public school districts employed 22 percent of the United States and jurisdictions' public school full-time-equivalent (FTE) teachers and contained 17 percent of all public schools and 20 percent of public high school completers (table 1).
- The 100 largest public school districts had larger average school enrollments compared to the average for all school districts (695 vs. 518) as well as a higher median pupil/teacher ratio (15.9 vs. 15.4) (table 1).
- The percentage of students in the 100 largest public school districts who were other than White, non-Hispanic was 71 percent, compared to 44 percent of students in all school districts (table 2).
- In FY 2005, current expenditures per pupil in the 100 largest public school districts ranged from lows of $5,104 in the Puerto Rico Department of Education and $5,503 in the Alpine District, Utah to a high of $18,878 in the District of Columbia Public Schools and $17,988 in Boston, Massachusetts (table A-14).
- Three states-California, Florida, and Texas-accounted for 45 percent of the 100 largest public school districts (table D-3).
1 In this report, the term "United States and jurisdictions" refers to these entities.