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Characteristics of the 100 Largest Public Elementary and Secondary Districts in the United States: 2001-2002 - Highlights


The information provided in this publication was reported by state education agency officials to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) for the Common Core of Data (CCD). Data are for the 2001-02 school year. Data are reported for the student membership and staff in public schools and school districts 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). This report includes graduate and dropout counts for the 2000-01 school year, and revenues and expenditures for fiscal year (FY) 2000.

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 A).

  • The 100 largest districts employed 22 percent of the United States and jurisdictions' public school teachers, and contained 16 percent of all public schools and 19 percent of public high school completers (table A)

  • The 100 largest school districts had larger school sizes than the average school district (705 students compared to 504). In addition to larger school sizes, the 100 largest school districts also had a higher mean pupil/teacher ratio, 16.9 compared to 15.9 for the average school district (table A).

  • Three states, Florida, Texas, and California, accounted for 41 percent of the 100 largest school districts (appendix C).

  • The proportion of students who were minorities in the 100 largest school districts was 69 percent, compared to 41 percent in all school districts (table C).

  • Among schools that reported free and reduced-price lunch eligibility, 54 percent of the students in the 100 largest school districts were eligible for free and reduced-price lunch, compared to 40 percent of all students in reporting states (table C).

  • In FY 2000 (the 1999-2000 school year), current expenditures per pupil in the 100 largest school districts ranged from a low of $3,404 in the Puerto Rico Department of Education to a high of $11,503 in the Boston School District, Massachusetts (table 14).
  • While the numbers of students, teachers, and schools increased between 1991-92 and 2001-02, the proportion of students, full-time equivalent teachers, and schools in the 100 largest school districts compared to the United States and jurisdictions has remained essentially unchanged (table D).