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Numbers and Types of Public Elementary and Secondary Local Education Agencies From the Common Core of Data: School Year 200708
NCES 2010-306
October 2009

Selected Findings: 2007-08 School Year

  • There were 17,775 operating local education agencies (LEAs) in 2007-08 (table 1). In the 2007-08 school year, 149 LEAs were closed and 183 were newly opened.
  • Most of these operating agencies were regular school districts (13,924) that were responsible for educating students residing within their jurisdiction. A total of 1,399 were administrative or service agencies that typically provide services to school districts. A total of 2,012 were independent charter agencies in which all the associated schools are charter schools. An additional 440 agencies were operated by the state or some other entity (table 2).
  • Of the approximately 49.2 million students2 served by LEAs, 48.2 million attended schools in regular school districts (table 2). Nearly 1 million students were enrolled in LEAs other than regular school districts, including approximately 212,000 students3 enrolled in administrative and service agencies, approximately 699,000 students enrolled in independent charter agencies, and approximately 89,000 enrolled in state- and federally operated and other types of agencies.
  • A total of 10,625 operating regular school districts (76.3 percent) were "unified," that is, responsible for all of grades prekindergarten through 12 (derived from table 3). There is not universal agreement on what grades constitute "elementary" and "secondary" districts. Using grade span as an indicator of a district's instructional level, the 468 districts that had a low grade of 7 or higher and a high grade of 12 are considered secondary districts, while the 2,560 that had a low grade of prekindergarten or kindergarten or higher and a high grade up to 9 are considered elementary (derived from table 3). An additional 271 districts served some other combination of grades.
  • Twenty-seven of the 13,924 regular school districts enrolled 100,000 or more students (table 4). While these largest school districts were less than 1 percent of all districts, they served 12.5 percent of students receiving public education (derived from table 4; table 5).
  • Some regular school districts were very small. A total of 909 regular school districts (6.5 percent of districts with membership) enrolled fewer than 100 students (derived from table 4). These districts accounted for less than 1 percent of students (table 5).
  • The majority of regular school districts, 7,608, were in rural locales (table 6). An additional 2,760 were in suburban locales; 2,516 were in town locales; and 761 were in city locales.
  • A total of 38.4 percent of students attended schools in suburban school districts. City school districts served an additional 30.3 percent of students; rural school districts served 18.9 percent of students; and town districts served 12.4 percent of students (table 6).

2 Counts of student are rounded to the nearest 100,000.
3 Counts of students are rounded to the nearest 1,000.

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