This Is America's Largest School District

Some school districts are at war over COVID-19 protection measures with the cities and states in which they are located. The Dallas Independent School District will require masks, in defiance of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s “ban on mask” mandate. Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the State Board of Education may cut pay to officials in some Florida school districts if they make masks a requirement.

School districts can be huge, in terms of the number of students that attend their schools. Several have student populations in the hundreds of thousands, which means that decisions about health affect not only these students, but teachers, administrators, parents and other relatives in the hundreds of thousands as well. School districts are on the front line of the war over the COVID-19 restrictions and the spread of the disease.

As might be expected, the largest school districts are in the largest cities. Some of them, however, are independent of these cities and make their own decisions about matters like curriculum and health.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2019, the three largest cities in America by population also had the largest school districts based on number of students enrolled.

America’s largest district is New York City’s, with 976,771 students. The population of children 5 to 17 years old in the district is 1,237,149. Clearly many of these children do not attend public school.

The second-largest district is in America’s second-largest city. Los Angeles’s school district has 621,414 students, while the population of children 5 years to 17 years old is 707,609.

The third-largest school district is in the third-largest city. The number of students in Chicago is 373,700. All children ages 5 to 17 within the district number 402,830.

Click here to see which is the worst school district in each state.