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School District Boundaries

School Districts are geographic entities and single purpose governmental units that operate schools and provide public educational services at the local level. The Census Bureau collects school district boundaries to develop annual estimates of children in poverty to help the U.S. Department of Education determine the annual allocation of Title I funding to states and school districts. NCES also uses the school district boundaries to develop a broad collection of district-level demographic estimates from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. The Census Bureau updates school district boundaries, names, local education agency codes, grade ranges, and school district levels biennially based on information provided by state education officials.

Data

Census
Geography Year
School Year
Represented
Layers by
District Type
Single
Composite File

ACS Period
20162015-2016Zip File (161 MB)Zip File (159 MB)2012-2016
20152013-2014Zip File (140 MB)Zip File (138 MB)2011-2015
20142013-2014Zip File (145 MB)Zip File (143 MB)2010-2014
20132011-2012Zip File (145 MB)Zip File (143 MB)2009-2013
20122011-2012Zip File (141 MB)Zip File (138 MB)2008-2012
20112009-2010Zip File (141 MB)Zip File (137 MB)2007-2011
20102009-2010Zip File (142 MB)Zip File (138 MB)2006-2010
20092007-2008Zip File (139 MB)Zip File (138 MB)2005-2009
20082007-2008Zip File (138 MB)Zip File (139 MB)
20072005-2006Zip File (102 MB)Zip File (103 MB)
20062005-2006Zip File (83 MB)Zip File (81 MB)
20052003-2004Zip File (72 MB)Zip File (72 MB)
20042003-2004Zip File (76 MB)Zip File (76 MB)
20032001-2002Zip File (58 MB)Zip File (58 MB)
20022001-2002Zip File (56 MB)Zip File (56 MB)
2001N/AN/AN/A
20001999-2000Zip File (141 MB)Zip File (140 MB)
19991999-2000Zip File (54 MB)Zip File (54 MB)
19981997-1998Zip File (54 MB)Zip File (54 MB)
19971995-1996Zip File (54 MB)Zip File (55 MB)
19951989-1990Zip File (56 MB)Zip File (56 MB)

Coverage

The U.S. has more than 13,000 geographically defined public school districts. These include districts that are administratively and fiscally independent of any other government, as well as public school systems that lack sufficient autonomy to be counted as separate governments and are classified as a dependent agency of some other government—a county, municipal, township, or state. Most public school systems are Unified districts that operate regular, special, and/or vocational programs for children in Prekindergarten through 12th grade.

The Census Bureau’s school district universe is a subset of the larger NCES CCD Local Education Agency (LEA) universe. The Census collection is limited to regular districts that are geographically defined, and it excludes “non-operating” districts and “educational service agencies” that are part of the CCD LEA universe. These districts primarily exist to collect and transfer tax revenue to other school systems that actually provide the education services, or to provide regional special education services, vocational education programs, or financial services for member districts.

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