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Largest School Districts in the United States

Every public school in the United States belongs to a separate government body called a school district.

A school district operates to serve the purpose of education. A school district area consists of primary and secondary schools and can be found in many states. In the US, public schools belong to school districts that are governed by school boards. A district is an independent special purpose government, or dependent school system, which is under the regulation of the each US State government or local school boards. As of 2002, the US had 13,506 school district governments, 178 state-dependent school systems, 1,330 local dependent school systems, and 1,196 education service agencies.

Largest School Districts in the United States

School Districts in the United States

In the US, a public school district refers to a geographical unit for the local administration of elementary and secondary schools. They are government entity with a special purpose that could be administered independently or dependently on the local government like a county or a city. In the US all school districts educate more than 55 million students. A school district holds legal rights and obligations making them more like local governments that have the same powers as that of a county or town which includes taking up private property for public use and taxation except in Virginia were they have no taxation authority.

The governing power of a school district

A school district is governed by a school board, board of education, the board of trustees or a school committee. The governing body is directly elected by popular vote. However, they can also be appointed by other government officials. The school district's governing body is responsible for appointing a superintendent who is a public school administrator who is experienced. The main objective of the superintendent is to make the day to day decisions and implement policies in the capacity of a district's chief executive. The school board may also act as a judicial entity if there is a serious student or employee discipline issue.

New York City department of Education

The New York City department of education is the governing body of the school district which manages its public school system. New York City’s school district is the largest school system found in the entire US with an estimated enrolment of 995,336 students in more than 1,800 different schools. The school district of New York is administered by the New York Schools Chancellor and the Panel for Educational Policy.

Los Angeles Unified school district

The Los Angeles Unified school district, is not only the largest public school system regarding the number of students but also the second largest public school district in the entire US. The school district has an estimated enrollment of 667,273 students and is the second largest employer after the county government in the county of Los Angeles. The Los Angeles school district consists of its school police department which provides police services to the schools. The school district is run by a Board of Education which is made up of seven members.

Puerto Rico Department of Education

The department of education of Puerto Rico is the governing body of the country's school district which is responsible for the management of the country's education system, curricula, and its public schools. The department of education of Puerto Rico is the largest department of the Puerto Rico's executive branch with an estimated enrolment of 437,202 students, more than 72,000 staff members which consist of more than 41,000 teachers. The department of education of Puerto Rico is the third largest school district in the US with more than 1,500 schools.

The importance of school districts

School districts are important, particularly when matters of student achievement are concerned. School districts tend to have better funds, and they can, therefore, afford better teachers, better facilities and a wide array of coursework and activities. School districts also have high-quality schools since all of them get equal amounts of attention from the governing body.

Largest School Districts in the United States

RankSchool district nameLocationEnrollment
1New York City Department of EducationNew York995,336
2Los Angeles Unified School DistrictCalifornia667,273
3Puerto Rico Department of EducationPuerto Rico437,202
4Chicago Public SchoolsIllinois405,655
5Miami-Dade County Public SchoolsFlorida 347,366
6Clark County School DistrictNevada 314,059
7Broward County Public SchoolsFlorida 256,472
8Houston Independent School DistrictTexas204,245
9Hillsborough County Public SchoolsFlorida 194,525
10Hawaii Department of EducationHawaii179,601
11Orange County Public SchoolsFlorida 176,008
12School District of Palm Beach CountyFlorida 174,663
13Fairfax County Public SchoolsVirginia174,479
14School District of PhiladelphiaPennsylvania166,233
15Gwinnett County Public SchoolsGeorgia160,744

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