10 Largest School Districts in the United States

The future of mankind rests in the hands of our youth: The United States has known this for many years. That’s why our leaders place such a strong emphasis on education. Schools in most areas are divided into districts in order to maintain adherence to certain standards and regulations, and these districts vary in size depending upon the region.

Just how large can school districts in the United States get? These massive districts have impressive enrollment rates, as well as plenty of locations to accomodate students. Let’s take a look at the 10 largest school districts in the United States, and learn a little bit about each one.

  1. Orange County Public Schools

Number of Students: 176,008
Number of Schools: 196
Location: Florida
Year Founded: 1895

Orange County Public Schools
Source: wikimedia.org

Based out of the Ronald Blocker Educational Leadership Center in Downtown Orlando, this school district focuses on student wellness and information accessibility. Its varied departments organize their efforts to provide a well-rounded set of resources to help ensure that students have the opportunity to succeed.

Did You Know?

Some of the schools in the Orange County Public Schools district offer magnet programs to help students specialize in a preferred area of study.

  1. Hawaii Department of Education

Number of Students: 179,601
Number of Schools: 255
Location: Hawaii
Year Founded: 1841

Hawaii Department of Education
Source: wikimedia.org

Hawaii is the only state in the nation with only one school district, making its education system rather unique. The Hawaii Department of Education primarily focuses on ensuring that its students are well prepared for college and their future careers after 12th grade. Although it isn’t part of the mainland United States, this district still adheres to the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

Did You Know?

Hawaii’s public education system is the oldest education system west of the Mississippi, and the only one to be established by a sovereign monarch.

  1. Hillsborough County Public Schools (School District of Hillsborough County)

Number of Students: 194,525
Number of Schools: 250
Location: Florida
Year Founded: 1928

Hillsborough County Public Schools (School District of Hillsborough County)
Source: wikimedia.org

Often referred to as the School District of Hillsborough County, this school district is governed by the School Board of Hillsborough County and Superintendent Jeff Eakins. Although the schools were once segregated by race, beginning in the 60’s, the School District of Hillsborough County worked to include all student demographics equally.

Did You Know?

Up until 1956, certain schools near Plant City called “Strawberry Schools” maintained a unique schedule based around strawberry seasons.

  1. Houston Independent School District

Number of Students: 204,245
Number of Schools: 284
Location: Texas
Year Founded: 1924

Houston Independent School District
Source: wikimedia.org

This Texas school district has taken steps to reach out to an exceptionally diverse range of demographics in order to put an end to the discrimination that once plagued their local schools. Programs such as the Literacy by 3 movement aim to reduce illiteracy in the Houston area by helping students become fully literate by the time they finish the third grade.

Did You Know?

Due to the high volume of international businesses in Houston, this school district has offered multilingual teachings for children of increasingly lower ages.

  1. Broward County School District

Number of Students: 256,472
Number of Schools: 327
Location: Florida
Year Founded: 1915

Broward County School District
Source: wikimedia.org

The Broward County School District teaches nine world languages and offers approximately 194 after school programs for those who need them. From 2010 to 2014, this school district outperformed Florida as a whole, delivering excellent grade averages and success rates.

Did You Know?

In 2016, the Broward County School District adapted their execution of the Smarter Lunchroom Movement. This program seeks to improve school lunches while decreasing waste.

  1. Clark County School District

Number of Students: 314,059
Number of Schools: 336
Location: Nevada
Year Founded: 1956

Clark County School District
Source: wikimedia.org

The Clark County School District has grown by leaps and bounds as more families moved into the Las Vegas area during recent decades, leading voters to approve several bond issues to accommodate the influx of students. Pat Skorkowsky has served as the superintendent of this school district since 2013.

Did You Know?

The Clark County School District offers an English Language Learners program that empowers students from diverse demographics to excel in their studies.

  1. Miami-Dade County Public Schools

Number of Students: 347,366
Number of Schools: 467
Location: Florida
Year Founded: 1885

Miami-Dade County Public Schools
Source: wikimedia.org

The largest school district in the Southeastern United States, the Miami-Dade County Public Schools district is one of the few in the Nation to offer international studies programs and bilingual education. It is the only school district in Florida to offer Mandarin Chinese under its bilingual education.

Did You Know?

Miami-Dade has demonstrated success as an A-rated school district, and teachers have been requesting higher pay in order to keep up with the cost of living.

  1. Chicago Public Schools

Number of Students: 405,655
Number of Schools: 660
Location: Illinois
Year Founded: 1837

Chicago Public Schools
Source: wikimedia.org

Officially classified as City of Chicago School District #299, this school district’s student numbers have dropped during recent years, but it still remains among the nation’s largest. Various Chicago businesses and community groups have collaborated to improve the school district, forming partnerships between schools and allocating resources more efficiently.

Did You Know?

Throughout its history, the Chicago Public School district has seen numerous teachers’ union strikes demanding better pay and smaller class sizes.

  1. Los Angeles Unified School District

Number of Students: 667,273
Number of Schools: 1,147
Location: California
Year Founded: 1853

Los Angeles Unified School District
Source: wikimedia.org

The Los Angeles Unified School District has made a name for itself with more winners of the United States Academic Decathlon championships than any other school district in the country. Four of its public high schools accept international study abroad students and offer them access to a wide variety of programs.

Did You Know?

The LAUSD works to provide less economically privileged students with access to the resources they need to thrive. For instance, approximately 84% of their student base qualifies for free or reduced lunch.

  1. New York City Department Of Education

Number of Students: 1,135,334
Number of Schools: 1,800
Location: New York
Year Founded: 2002

New York City Department Of Education
Source: wikimedia.org

New York City Department Of Education is the largest school district in the United States. Its headquarters are now located in the Tweed Courthouse building adjacent to Manhattan’s New York City Hall. This school district has initiated a series of health-conscious changes to combat child obesity and focuses heavily on student-centered learning and guidance.

Did You Know?

The New York City Department of Education welcomes diversity, ensuring that all demographics are welcome to learn, make connections, and thrive.

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