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Education Statistics Quarterly
Vol 5, Issue 4, Topic: Elementary and Secondary Education
Characteristics of the 100 Largest Public Elementary and Secondary School Districts in the United States: 2001–02
By: Jennifer Sable and Beth Aronstamm Young
 
This article was originally published as the Introduction and summary sections of the Statistical Analysis Report of the same name. The universe data are from the Common Core of Data (CCD). Detailed data tables and the Methodology section from the original report have been omitted.  
 
 

Introduction

This publication provides basic descriptive information about the 100 largest school districts (ranked by student membership) in the United States and jurisdictions (Bureau of Indian Affairs, Department of Defense schools, and five outlying areas: American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Marianas, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands). When discussing characteristics, the term "United States and jurisdictions" refers to all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Department of Defense schools, and five outlying areas. This is different from most National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reports, which include only the 50 states and the District of Columbia in U.S. totals. Readers interested in examining data for the 50 states and District of Columbia only can refer to Public School Student, Staff, and Graduate Counts by State: School Year 2001–02 (Young 2003) and Overview of Public Elementary and Secondary Schools and Districts: School Year 2001–02 (Hoffman 2003).

Approximately one in four public school students in the United States and jurisdictions is served by one of the 100 largest school districts (table A). These districts are distinguished from other school districts by characteristics other than the size of their membership, such as average and median school size, number of high school graduates, number of pupils receiving special education services, and minority enrollment as a proportion of total enrollment.

Information about the characteristics listed above is found in 18 "basic tables" (tables 1–18) in the full report. The report also includes six tables (tables 19–21 and appendixes E–G) with supplemental data from the 2000 School District Tabulations (STP2) from the Bureau of the Census, which present decennial census data on household poverty, educational attainment of adults, and English language proficiency of children. For the purpose of establishing a meaningful context for the information on the 100 largest districts, four text tables that are in this article (tables A–D) precede the basic tables in the full report and provide national data and data for the 100 and 500 largest school districts. Appendix A in the complete report lists the 500 largest school districts, with some identifying information. Appendix B is an alphabetical list of the 500 largest districts ranked by membership size. Appendix C provides a count of the number of 100 largest districts by state. Appendix D provides selected data for the 100 largest school districts in the 1991–92 school year for comparison. In all basic tables and appendixes, with the exception of appendixes B and C, districts are presented in decreasing order of membership size.


Overview of the 100 Largest Districts

In the 2001–02 school year, there were 17,140 public school districts,1 96,193 public schools, and 48.5 million students in public schools in the United States and jurisdictions (table A). There were over 3.1 million full-time-equivalent (FTE) teachers in the 2001–02 school year and 2.7 million high school completers in the 2000–01 school year. The 100 largest school districts comprised less than 1 percent of all public school districts but served 23 percent of all public elementary and secondary students. The 100 largest school districts contained 16 percent of public schools and employed 22 percent of FTE teachers. The 500 largest school districts comprised 3 percent of all public school districts and 32 percent of public schools; they served 43 percent (20.9 million) of all public elementary and secondary students in the United States and jurisdictions.

The 100 largest school districts ranged in size from 44,859 to 1,049,831 students in 2001–02. Twenty-six of the 100 largest districts served over 100,000 students. The largest public school district was New York City Public Schools, New York, with 1,049,831 students enrolled in 1,218 schools. Following the New York City Public Schools district was the Los Angeles Unified district, California, with 735,058 students in 663 schools. The enrollment of each of these 2 largest districts was greater than enrollment for 27 states and the District of Columbia, each of the 5 outlying areas, the Bureau of Indian Affairs schools, and the Department of Defense schools.2

Table A. Selected statistics for the United States and jurisdictions, the 100 largest, and the 500 largest school districts: School year 2001–02

Data item National total1 100 largest districts1 500 largest districts1
Total Percentage of
national total
Total Percentage of
national total
Districts 17,140 100 0.6 500 2.9
Schools 96,193 15,838 16.5 30,662 31.9
Students 48,521,731 11,168,631 23.0 20,912,064 43.1
Teachers (full-time-equivalent) 3,051,638 662,162 21.7 1,239,595 40.6
High school completers (2000–01)2 2,723,872 517,898 19.0 1,024,853 37.6
Median pupil/teacher ratio3 15.9 16.9 16.9
Average school size 504.4 705.2 682.0
High school completers2 as percentage of all students 5.6 4.6 4.9

Not applicable.

1The universe for this table includes outlying areas, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and Department of Defense schools. The 500 largest school districts include 23 school districts that are some other configuration besides prekindergarten (PK) or K12, although all of the 100 largest school districts are PK or K12.

2Includes high school diploma recipients as well as other high school completers (e.g., certificates of attendance).

3Includes only schools where student membership was greater than zero.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), "Local Education Agency Universe Survey," 2001–02, Version 1a, and "State Nonfiscal Survey of Public Elementary/Secondary Education," 200102, Version 1a.

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Where Were the 100 Largest School Districts?

There were 33 states and jurisdictions that had at least 1 of the 100 largest school districts (figure 1) in the 2001–02 school year. Texas had 15 districts among the 100 largest, and California and Florida had 13 each. Several other states had more than 1 district represented in the 100 largest: Georgia and Maryland each had 6; North Carolina had 5; Louisiana, Utah, and Virginia each had 4; Tennessee had 3; and Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, and Ohio each had 2. The following states each had 1 school district among the 100 largest: Alabama, Alaska, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Washington, and Wisconsin. (The District of Columbia, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico have only one school district each for their entire jurisdiction.)

The 100 largest school districts tended to be in cities and counties with large populations, with administrative offices typically located in large cities and their environs. Many of the districts were in states where the school districts have the same boundaries as counties. However, caution should be used when interpreting the areas that these school districts cover. School district boundaries are not necessarily the same as county, city, or town boundaries. Finally, 73 percent of these districts were located in coastal and gulf coast states (see appendix C of the full report for the number of the 100 largest districts by state).

Figure 1. The 100 largest school districts in the United States and jurisdictions: School year 2001–02
Figure 1. The 100 largest school districts in the United States and jurisdictions: School year 2001-02

NOTE: The universe for this figure includes outlying areas, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and Department of Defense (overseas) schools. The markings on the map denote the approximate location of the school district. The District of Columbia, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico are all one-district jurisdictions.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), "Local Education Agency Universe Survey," 2001–02, Version 1a.

How Did These Districts Compare With the Average School District?

General characteristics

In the 2001–02 school year, each of the 100 largest school districts had at least 44,000 students, whereas 73 percent of regular school districts had fewer than 2,500 students (table B). Although 13 percent of regular school districts had 5,000 or more students, 68 percent of all students were served by these districts.

The average school district in the United States and jurisdictions had 5.6 schools; in comparison, the 100 largest school districts averaged 158.4 schools per district (derived from table A). Two of the three largest districts, New York City Public Schools, New York, and the Puerto Rico Department of Education, Puerto Rico, each had over 1,200 schools. The 100 largest school districts, on average, served more students (111,686 vs. 2,831) and employed more teachers (6,622 vs. 178) than the average school district in the United States and jurisdictions (derived from table A).

School characteristics

The 100 largest school districts had more students per school than the average school district, 705 compared with 504 students (table A). Eleven of the 100 largest school districts had an average regular school3 size of over 1,000 students. In addition to larger average school sizes, the 100 largest school districts also had a higher median4 pupil/teacher ratio, 16.9 to 1 compared with 15.9 to 1 for the average school district (table A). Among the 100 largest public school districts, Jefferson County, Kentucky, had the largest median pupil/teacher ratio at 27.6 to 1 and Forsyth County Schools, North Carolina, had the smallest at 12.7 to 1.

High school completers. The number of high school completers (diploma recipients and other high school completers) as a percentage of all students was lower in the 100 largest school districts than in the average school district (table A).

School staff. At the national level, 51 percent of staff were teachers,5 and in the 100 largest districts, 52 percent of staff were teachers. Sixty-two districts reported that 50 percent or more of their staff were teachers, 5 districts had over 60 percent teachers, and 2 districts had less than 40 percent. In 3 of the 100 largest school districts (Clark County School District, Nevada; San Francisco Unified, California; and Alpine School District, Utah), 60 percent or more of all staff were teachers. (This does not include the City of Chicago, Illinois, or Greenville County, South Carolina, school districts, where nonteaching staff categories may be under-represented due to nonresponse for these categories.) Twenty-five percent of the 100 largest school districts had 1 percent or more of their staff assigned to district administration.

Title I participation. Ninety-five of the 100 largest school districts reported data for Title I eligible schools and programs for the 2001–02 school year. The percentage of Title I eligible schools in the 95 districts ranged from 10.9 percent in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina, district to 98.9 percent in the Philadelphia City School District, Pennsylvania. Of the 95 of the 100 largest districts that reported Title I data, an average of 51 percent of students attended a Title I eligible school. In contrast, 47 percent of all students, nationally, attended a Title I eligible school.6 In the 95 of the 100 largest school districts with Title I data, the percentages of students in Title I eligible schools ranged from 6.7 percent in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina, district to 99.9 percent in the Aldine Independent School District, Texas.

Charter schools. There were 422 charter schools administered by the 100 largest school districts in the 2001–02 school year. A little over 1 percent of students in the 100 largest school districts attended 1 of these 422 charter schools. There were 2,348 charter schools attended by 3 percent of students in the 50 states and District of Columbia in 2001–02.7 The largest number of charter schools (83) was in the Puerto Rico Department of Education, Puerto Rico, up from 36 charter schools in 2000–01.8

Student body

The 100 largest school districts were not homogeneous, and certain student characteristics, such as race/ethnicity, poverty level, and disability status, varied across the districts.

Race/ethnicity. American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asians/Pacific Islanders, Hispanics, and Black, non-Hispanics make up the groups other than White, non-Hispanic when assessing race at the national level. In some of the 100 largest districts, these four groups comprise the majority of student membership. The 100 largest school districts, with 23 percent of the United States and jurisdictions' public school students, served 38 percent of the 19.6 million public school students other than White, non-Hispanic (derived partially from tables A, C, and other sources; see footnote).9

In the 100 largest school districts, 69 percent of students were from groups other than White, non-Hispanic, compared with 41 percent of students in all school districts (table C).10 More than one-third (37) of the 97 districts where membership information was available for groups other than White, non-Hispanic had over 75 percent other than White, non-Hispanic membership, and 8 of the 10 largest school districts had an other than White, non-Hispanic student membership percentage of this size.

Even with the relatively high other than White, non-Hispanic membership in the 100 largest school districts, 36 of the 97 districts reported 50 percent or more of their students as White, non-Hispanic. Of these 36 districts, 6 reported other than White, non-Hispanic membership of less than 25 percent of their student body. In 16 of the 100 largest districts, half or more of the membership was Black, non-Hispanic. Sixteen districts reported that the majority of students were Hispanic; 4 of these are among the 10 largest districts. In Hawaii, a one-district state, and the San Francisco Unified District, California, the majority of students were Asian/Pacific Islander.

Data from the 2000 Decennial Census are presented in tables 9 and 10 in the full report. These data provide racial and ethnic breakouts of the population less than 18 years old residing within the school district boundaries for the 100 largest school districts. These data are presented in the report for comparison purposes; see the descriptions there under the Basic Tables heading for more detailed information.

Free and reduced-price lunch participation. The 100 largest school districts had a disproportionate percentage of students eligible for the free and reduced-price lunch program relative to all public school districts. Among schools that reported free and reduced-price lunch eligibility, 54 percent of students in the 100 largest school districts were eligible, compared with 40 percent of students in all districts (table C). Among the 95 of the 100 largest school districts that reported data on free and reduced-price lunch, 42 districts reported over 50 percent of their students eligible for the free and reduced-price lunch program.

Students with disabilities. Approximately 1.4 million students had individualized education programs (IEPs) in the 100 largest school districts. They made up 13 percent of all students in these districts, the same as the percentage for the United States and jurisdictions.11 These 1.4 million students comprised 22 percent of the 6.3 million students in the 50 states and District of Columbia that had IEPs. In the largest school district, New York City Public Schools, New York, 14 percent, or 146,328 students, had IEPs. About 2 percent of the schools in the 100 largest school districts were special education schools.

High school dropouts. In the 1999–2000 school year, 60 of the 100 largest school districts were in states that could report dropouts using the NCES definition of dropouts (see the Methodology section of the full report for more information). The 9th- through 12th-grade dropout rate in those 60 districts ranged from less than 1 to 26 percent. Thirty-seven of the 60 districts that had dropout data had a 9th- through 12th-grade dropout rate between 3 and 10 percent, while 14 were higher and 9 were lower.


Table B. Number and percentage of districts and students by district membership size for regular public elementary and secondary school districts in the United States and jurisdictions: School year 2001–02
District size (number of students) Districts Students Cumulative totals
Number Percentage Cumulative percentage Number Percentage Cumulative percentage Districts Students
Total1 14,564 100.0 47,587,932 100.0
100,000 or more 26 0.2 0.2 6,483,998 13.6 13.6 26 6,483,998
25,000 to 99,999 219 1.5 1.7 9,509,038 20.0 33.6 245 15,993,036
10,000 to 24,999 576 4.0 5.6 8,801,933 18.5 52.1 821 24,794,969
7,500 to 9,999 342 2.3 8.0 2,967,975 6.2 58.3 1,163 27,762,944
5,000 to 7,499 725 5.0 13.0 4,425,262 9.3 67.6 1,888 32,188,206
2,500 to 4,999 2,031 13.9 26.9 7,129,358 15.0 82.6 3,919 39,317,564
2,000 to 2,499 801 5.5 32.4 1,793,708 3.8 86.4 4,720 41,111,272
1,500 to 1,999 1,071 7.4 39.8 1,861,142 3.9 90.3 5,791 42,972,414
1,000 to 1,499 1,557 10.7 50.5 1,921,658 4.0 94.3 7,348 44,894,072
800 to 999 790 5.4 55.9 709,648 1.5 95.8 8,138 45,603,720
600 to 799 954 6.6 62.4 665,923 1.4 97.2 9,092 46,269,643
450 to 599 897 6.2 68.6 469,837 1.0 98.2 9,989 46,739,480
300 to 449 1,118 7.7 76.3 415,224 0.9 99.1 11,107 47,154,704
150 to 299 1,435 9.9 86.1 316,819 0.7 99.8 12,542 47,471,523
1 to 149 1,692 11.6 97.7 116,409 0.2 100.0 14,234 47,587,932
Zero2 102 0.7 98.4 0 0 100.0 14,336 47,587,932
Not applicable 228 1.6 100.0 14,336 47,587,932

Not applicable.

1Not included in this table are local supervisory unions, regional education service agencies, and state and federally operated agencies.

2Membership may be 0 in two situations: (1) where the school district does not operate schools but pays tuition for its students in a neighboring district, and (2) where the district provides services for students who are accounted for in some other district(s). The number of regular districts represented in this table differs from the number of districts in table A, which represents all types of districts.

NOTE: The universe for this table includes outlying areas, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and Department of Defense schools. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), "Local Education Agency Universe Survey," 2001–02, Version 1a.



Table C. Percentage of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch and percentage enrollment that is other than White in the 100 and 500 largest school districts, and in the United States and jurisdictions: School year 2001–02
  All school districts 100 largest school districts 500 largest school districts
Percentage of schools reporting free and reduced-price lunch 91.8 94.8 94.2
Membership eligible for free or reduced-price lunch of those who reported free and reduced-price lunch 39.71 54.31 48.01
Percentage of schools reporting other than White membership 98.2 97.6 97.8
Percentage groups other than White, other non-Hispanic enrollment 41.1 68.7 59.2
   American Indian/Alaska Native 1.3 0.6 0.7
   Asian/Pacific Islander 4.4 7.0 6.3
   Hispanic 18.5 32.5 27.7
   Black, non-Hispanic 16.9 28.7 24.5
Percentage White, non-Hispanic enrollment 58.9 31.3 40.8

1These percentages should be interpreted with caution; four states (Arizona, Connecticut, Tennessee, and Wyoming), the Department of Defense (overseas), the Department of Defense (domestic), Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the Virgin Islands did not report free and reduced-price lunch eligibility and are not included in the national total. Also, states may not have reported students eligible for reduced-price meals, and a number of states reported participation instead of eligibility data, which may not be strictly comparable. See the Methodology section of the full report for further description. Percentages are based on those schools that reported.

NOTE: The universe for this table includes outlying areas, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and Department of Defense schools. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), "Public Elementary/Secondary School Universe Survey," 2001–02, Version 1a, and "Local Education Agency Universe Survey," 2001–02, Version 1a.


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Revenues and Expenditures for Fiscal Year 2000

In the 1999–2000 school year (FY 2000), $373 billion were collected for public elementary and secondary education in the United States and jurisdictions; 23 percent ($85 billion) of this revenue was collected by the 100 largest school districts.12 Of the $85 billion in revenue to the 100 largest school districts, 30 percent ($25 billion) was received by the 5 largest school districts (New York City Public Schools, New York; Los Angeles Unified, California; Puerto Rico Department of Education, Puerto Rico; City of Chicago School District, Illinois; and Dade County School District, Florida). The revenues from the federal government received by the 100 largest school districts comprised between 2 percent (Plano Independent School District, Texas) and 28 percent (Puerto Rico Department of Education, Puerto Rico) of all revenues to the district.

The 100 largest school districts spent $72 billion (22 percent) of the $324 billion in current expenditures spent in the United States and jurisdictions in 1999–2000.13 The two largest school districts, New York City Public Schools, New York, and Los Angeles Unified, California, spent a little more than 1 out of every 5 of the current expenditure dollars expended by the 100 largest school districts. The percentage of total current expenditures spent on instruction ranged from 41 percent (District of Columbia Public Schools, District of Columbia) to 74 percent (New York City Public Schools, New York) in the 100 largest school districts.

The current expenditures per pupil were $6,911 in the United States and jurisdictions,14 higher than the $6,606 in the 100 largest school districts. Of the 100 largest school districts, 11 spent more than $8,000 per pupil (with the Boston School District, Massachusetts, spending $11,503 per pupil) and 6 spent less than $5,000 per pupil (with the Puerto Rico Department of Education, Puerto Rico, spending $3,404 per pupil). (See the Methodology section of the full report for a definition of specific revenues and expenditures.)

Changes in the 100 Largest School Districts Between 1991 and 2001

While there has been a lot of movement within the 100 largest school districts over time, between the 1991–92 and 2001–02 school years, the 100 largest school districts remained very similar. Only 11 of the 100 largest school districts in 1991–92 were not among the 100 largest school districts by 2001–02 (see appendix D of the full report for a list of the 100 largest school districts in 1991–92).15

The number of students in the 100 largest school districts increased by 14 percent between 1991–92 and 2001–02, the number of teachers increased by 27 percent, and the number of schools increased by 11 percent. However, while the numbers of students, teachers, and schools in the 100 largest school districts increased between these years, the proportion of the national total these numbers represent was essentially unchanged. For example, the number of students in the 100 largest school districts was 23 percent of all districts in both 1991–92 and 2001–02 (table D).


Table D. Number of students, teachers, and schools in the United States and jurisdictions in the 100 largest school districts: School years 1991–92 and 2001–02
  1991–921 2001–021 Percentage change 1991–92 to 2001–02
All districts 100 largest districts 100 largest districts as a percentage of national total All districts 100 largest districts 100 largest districts as a percentage of national total All districts 100 largest districts
Students 42,800,693 9,823,729 23.0 48,520,706 11,168,631 23.0 13.4 13.7
Teachers (full-time- equivalent) 2,297,463 521,628 22.7 3,051,583 662,162 21.7 32.8 26.9
Schools 86,287 14,235 16.5 96,193 15,838 16.5 11.5 11.3

1Data for 200102 include outlying areas, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and Department of Defense schools. In 199192, these jurisdictions were not collected, and therefore not included. The addition of Bureau of Indian Affairs and Department of Defense schools accounts for 0.3 percent more students, 0.3 percent more teachers, and 0.4 percent more schools.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), "Local Education Agency Universe Survey," 199192 and 2001-02, Version 1a, and "State Nonfiscal Survey of Public Elementary/Secondary Education," 199192, Revised, and 200102, Version 1a.



Household and Population Characteristics of the 100 Largest School Districts

Household poverty
The percentages of households living in poverty varied widely among the 100 largest school districts. In 1999, the percentages of all households with incomes below the poverty line ranged from about 4 to 47 percent in the 100 largest school districts. The Puerto Rico Department of Education, Puerto Rico, had the largest percentage of households in poverty47 percent.

The percentages of family households with incomes below the poverty line in the 100 largest school districts ranged from 3 to 45 percent, with the Puerto Rico Department of Education, Puerto Rico, again having the largest percentage of family households with incomes below the poverty line.

Educational attainment
In 2000, the percentage of adults ages 25 and older with less than a high school diploma16 in the 100 largest school districts ranged from 7 to 59 percent. The percentage of adults ages 25 and older with a high school education only ranged from 12 to 37 percent. The percentage of adults with some college or higher17 ranged from 32 to 78 percent in the 100 largest school districts. When looking at the upper end of education attainment (a master's degree or higher), the percentages of adults in the 100 largest school districts ranged from 3 to 28 percent, with Montgomery County Public Schools, Maryland, having the highest percentage of adults ages 25 and older with a master's degree or higher.

English language proficiency
The percentages of children ages 517 who spoke English and no other language ranged from 13 percent (Santa Ana Unified, California) to 97 percent (Knox County School District, Tennessee) in the 100 largest school districts in 2000. The Puerto Rico Department of Education, Puerto Rico, and Santa Ana Unified, California, had the lowest percentages of children ages 517 who spoke English and no other language in the 100 largest school districts. Looking at English-language proficiency, 51 percent of children ages 517 in the Puerto Rico Department of Education, Puerto Rico, did not speak English at all. Among other of the 100 largest school districts, the percentage of children who spoke no English at all was 2 percent or higher in the following districts: Los Angeles Unified, California; Houston Independent School District, Texas; Dallas Independent School District, Texas; Austin ISD, Texas; Denver County, Colorado; and Santa Ana Unified, California.


References

Hoffman, L. (2003). Overview of Public Elementary and Secondary Schools and Districts: School Year 2001–02 (NCES 2003–411). U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Johnson, F. (2002). Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary Education: School Year 1999–2000 (NCES 2002–367). U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Young, B. (2002). Characteristics of the 100 Largest Public Elementary and Secondary School Districts in the United States: 2000–01 (NCES 2002–351). U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Young, B. (2003). Public School Student, Staff, and Graduate Counts by State: School Year 2001–02 (NCES 2003–358). U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. Available: http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2003358.

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Footnotes

1In this report, the terms "public school districts," "school districts," and "regular school districts" are used. "Public school districts," also known as "school districts," include regular school districts; local supervisory unions that provide management services for a group of associated school districts; regional education service agencies that typically provide school districts with research, testing, and data processing services; state and federally operated school districts; and other agencies that do not fall into these groupings (e.g., charter schools reported as "placeholder" agencies). A "regular school district" is an agency responsible for providing free public education for school-age children residing within its jurisdiction, and is a subset of the category "public school districts/school districts."

2State enrollment can be found in Public School Student, Staff, and Graduate Counts by State: School Year 2001–02 (Young 2003).

3A regular school is a public elementary/secondary school that does not focus primarily on vocational, special, or alternative education.

4If all the pupil/teacher ratios were listed in order of size, the midpoint on the list would be the median.

5Staff data can be found in Public School Student, Staff, and Graduate Counts by State: School Year 2001–02 (Young 2003). The national staff ratio does not include the Bureau of Indian Affairs schools and the Virgin Islands.

6National Title I school data can be found in Overview of Public Elementary and Secondary Schools and Districts: School Year 2001–02 (Hoffman 2003).

7National charter school data can be found in Overview of Public Elementary and Secondary Schools and Districts: School Year 2001–02 (Hoffman 2003).

8Charter school data for the 100 largest school districts in 2000–01 can be found in Characteristics of the 100 Largest Public Elementary and Secondary School Districts in the United States: 2000–01 (Young 2002).

9For the 100 largest school districts, the numbers of students in different racial/ethnic categories are reported at the school level and are aggregated up to the district level. The total number of students other than White, non-Hispanic in the 100 largest school districts is 7,503,151. The figure for the United States and jurisdictions is from the state-level survey and can be found in Public School Student, Staff, and Graduate Counts by State: School Year 2001–02 (Young 2003).

10See table C for the percentages of districts for which data were reported.

11IEP data for the United States and jurisdictions can be found in Overview of Public Elementary and Secondary Schools and Districts: School Year 2001–02 (Hoffman 2003).

12National revenue and expenditure data were calculated from the state-level "National Public Education Financial Survey" (NPEFS) and can be found in Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary Education: School Year 1999–2000 (Johnson 2002). The percentage distribution is based on school district-level data found on the U.S. Census Bureau's Annual Survey of Government Finances (F-33 survey). The Department of Defense and Bureau of Indian Affairs are not included in these national totals.

13Data on current expenditures can be found in Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary Education: School Year 1999–2000 (Johnson 2002).

14Data on current expenditures per pupil can be found in Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary Education: School Year 1999–2000 (Johnson 2002).

15Please note that between 1991–92 and 2001–02, 1 of the 100 largest school districts that was present in both years changed its district name. This district was Mecklen-burg County, North Carolina (1991–92)/Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, North Carolina (2001–02).

16Includes adults with the following levels of reported educational attainment: less than 9th grade; 9th grade; 10th grade; 11th grade; and 12th grade, no diploma.

17Includes adults with the following levels of reported educational attainment: some college, no degree; associate's degree; bachelor's degree; and master's degree or higher.


Data sources: The following components of the NCES Common Core of Data (CCD): "Local Education Agency Universe Survey," 1991–92 and 2001–02; "Public Elementary/Secondary School Universe Survey," 2001–02; and "State Nonfiscal Survey of Public Elementary/Secondary Education," 1991–92 and 2001–02.

For technical information, see the complete report:

Sable, J., and Young, B.A. (2003). Characteristics of the 100 Largest Public Elementary and Secondary School Districts in the United States: 2001–02 (NCES 2003–353).

Author affiliations: J. Sable, Education Statistics Services Institute; B.A. Young, NCES.

For questions about content, contact Lee M. Hoffman (lee.hoffman@ed.gov).

To obtain the complete report (NCES 2003–353), call the toll-free ED Pubs number (877–433–7827) or visit the NCES Electronic Catalog (http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch).


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