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This report presents findings on the numbers and types of public elementary and secondary local education agencies (LEAs) in the United States and other jurisdictions1 in the 2008–09 school year, using data from the Local Education Agency Universe Survey of the Common Core of Data (CCD) survey system. The CCD is an annual collection of data that are reported by state education agencies to the National Center for Education Statistics through the U.S. Department of Education's EDFacts data collection system.

Because the purpose of this report is to introduce new data through the presentation of tables containing descriptive information, only selected findings are presented. These findings have been chosen to demonstrate the range of information available when using the CCD rather than to discuss all of the observed differences, and they are not meant to emphasize any particular issue.

The Local Education Agency Universe Survey Data File includes the numbers and types of LEAs. Information about LEAs also includes the type of agency and its operational status (new, continuing, closed, etc.), the number of teachers, aides, administrators, and student support and other staff members, and the total number of prekindergarten through grade 12 students and of students in ungraded classes.

State education agencies follow standard definitions for the data items they report to the CCD via EDFacts. In some cases, state education agencies may be unable to report a data item, or may not be able to follow the definition exactly. Examples of situations that could lead to missing data would be a state that collected only limited information about charter schools, or that did not have a way of identifying magnet schools. Data were reported by all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Bureau of Indian Education in the 2008–09 CCD collection through the EDFacts system;  the Department of Defense dependents schools (overseas and domestic) and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands reported directly to the CCD. American Samoa and Guam did not report data for the 2008–09 school year; the directory information and types of schools in these jurisdictions were carried over from prior year files.

Not all LEAs are responsible for educating students. Some regional education service agencies and supervisory unions, for example, provide administrative, research, or other services to regular school districts but do not enroll students.

While tables include data for all of the CCD respondents, the United States and reporting states totals shown on the tables and the discussion of findings in the text include only the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

More information about the survey content and methodology can be found in Appendix A: Methodology and Technical Notes, of this report. The data items are defined in Appendix B: Common Core of Data Glossary.

More information about the CCD surveys and products is available here.

1 The CCD includes the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Department of Defense dependents schools (domestic and overseas), Bureau of Indian Education, Puerto Rico, and the four other jurisdictions of American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.