Report Finds Majority of Students in the 100 Largest U.S. School Districts Are Hispanic or Black
AIR authors wrote a new federal report, Characteristics of the 100 Largest Public Elementary and Secondary School Districts in the United States: 2008–09, that found that the majority of students in the 100 largest school districts in the United States were Hispanic or Black (63 percent). The percentage of students in the 100 largest school districts who were Black was 26 percent, compared to 17 percent of students in all school districts, and the percentage of students who were Hispanic was 37 percent, compared to 22 percent of students in all school districts.
The report, which was released by the National Center for Education Statistics, was written by Jennifer Sable, Chris Plotts and Lindsey Mitchell.
Over one in five public school students in the United States attends one of the 100 largest school districts. The characteristics of the 100 largest districts were provided by state education agency officials. The report uses data from the 2008–09 school year and includes student membership and staff in public schools and school districts in the 50 states and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Bureau of Indian Education, the Department of Defense dependents schools, and American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This report also includes graduate counts, high school dropout rates, and graduation rates for the 2007–08 school year and revenues and expenditures for fiscal year (FY) 2008.
Highlighted report findings include:
- There were 17,953 public school districts, 100,713 public schools, and 49.9 million students attending the schools.
- The 100 largest school districts ranged in size from 47,448 to 981,690 students, with 27 of the districts serving more than 100,000 students. The largest public school district was New York City Public Schools, NY, with 981,690 students enrolled in 1,496 schools. The next largest was Los Angeles Unified, CA, with 687,534 students in 860 schools.
- Three states—California, Florida, and Texas—accounted for 45 out of the 100 largest public school districts.
- The 100 largest public school districts, representing less than one percent of all school districts in the United States and jurisdictions, were responsible for the education of 22 percent of all public school students.
- The 100 largest school districts served 35 percent of the nation’s 22.8 million public school students who are Black, Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, American Indian/Alaska Native, or mixed race, compared to serving 12 percent of the 27.1 million students who are White.
- In FY 2008, the 100 largest school districts received approximately $134 billion in revenues for public elementary and secondary education. Of this approximately $134 billion, 31 percent ($42 billion) went to the five largest school districts (New York City Public Schools, New York; Los Angeles Unified, California; Puerto Rico Department of Education; City of Chicago School District 299, Illinois; and Dade, Florida).
- In FY 2008, expenditures per pupil in the 100 largest public school districts ranged from lows of $6,363 in the Granite District, UT, to highs of $23,298 in Boston and $22,071 in New York City.