Iowa school districts

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K-12 Education in Iowa
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Education facts
State Superintendent: Brad Buck
Number of students: 495,870[1]
Number of teachers: 34,658
Teacher/pupil ratio: 1:14.3
Number of school districts: 361
Number of schools: 1,411
Graduation rate: 89%[2]
Per-pupil spending: $9,807[3]
See also
Iowa Department of Education
Iowa school districts
List of school districts in Iowa
School boards portal
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Education policy project
Public education in the United States
Public education in Iowa
Glossary of education terms

Iowa is home to 1,411 schools and 495,870 K-12 students.[4]

Quick facts

State school administrators

  • State Board of Education
    • Charles C. Edwards, Jr., President
    • Michael Knedler, Vice President
    • Brooke Axiotis
    • Michael Bearden
    • Diane Crookham-Johnson
    • Angela English
    • Rosie Hussey
    • William "Mike" May
    • Mary Ellen Miller


The following table displays the state's top eight school districts by total student enrollment.

Student enrollment
1.) Des Moines Public Schools
2.) Cedar Rapids Community School District
3.) Davenport Community Schools
4.) Sioux City Community Schools
5.) Iowa City Community School District
6.) Dubuque Community Schools
7.) Waterloo Community Schools
8.) Council Bluffs Community School District


See also: Demographic information for all students in all 50 states

The following table displays the ethnic distribution of students in Iowa as reported in the National Center for Education Statistics Common Core of Data for 2011-2012.[5]

Demographic Information for Iowa's K-12 Public School System
Ethnicity Students State Percentage United States Percentage**
American Indian 2,236 0.45% 1.11%
Asian 10,245 2.08% 4.73%
African American 25,303 5.13% 15.86%
Hawaiian Nat./Pacific Isl. Students 759 0.15% 0.42%
Hispanic 44,191 8.95% 24.64%
White 400,101 81.05% 51.64%
Two or More 13,035 2.64% 2.57%
**Note: This is the percentage of all students in the United States that are reported to be of this ethnicity.

In the news

School district consolidation

As a result of diminishing rural populations and the expiration of a state provision that allows districts with declining enrollment to receive some of the budget's losses, 14 Iowa school districts will be consolidated into seven as of July 2014. The provision these districts had been allowed, called the budget guarantee, had provided some low-enrollment districts with local property tax revenue in order to boost their spending authority. One out of four young Iowans are enrolled in districts that serve fewer than 1,000 students. According to Jeff Berger, Iowa Department of Education deputy director, more consolidations might be in Iowa's future, saying, "when you're losing students, you're losing money; and coupled with that, all costs continue to rise." Iowa code requires newly formed districts to enroll at least 300 students.[6]

State law

School board composition

School board members are elected by residents of the school district. School boards in Iowa are generally composed of five or seven members elected to four-year terms.[7] Elections are held on the second Tuesday in September of odd-numbered years.

District types

School districts in Iowa are split into three categories: community school districts, consolidated school districts and independent school districts. The terms "school district" and "school corporation" are used interchangeably in the Iowa statutes.[8]

Term limits

Iowa does not impose statewide term limits on school board members.[9]

School board elections

Upcoming elections

See also: Iowa school board elections, 2014

No top enrollment districts in Iowa are scheduled to hold elections in 2014.

Path to the ballot

To become a school board candidate in Iowa, a person must be a U.S. citizen, 18 years of age or older, a resident of the school district and eligible to be registered to vote may become a candidate for the school board.[10]

See also

External links

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  1. National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12," accessed March 18, 2014
  2. ED Data Express, "State Tables Report," accessed March 17, 2014 The site includes this disclaimer: "States converted to an adjusted cohort graduation rate [starting in the 2010-2011 school year], which may or may not be the same as the calculation they used in prior years. Due to the potential differences, caution should be used when comparing graduation rates across states."
  3. United States Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011," accessed March 18, 2014
  4. National Center for Education Statistics, "State Education Data Profiles," accessed August 15, 2013
  5. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey, 2011-2012," accessed May 7, 2014
  6. Press Citizen, "More merging Iowa school districts on the horizon," June 11, 2014
  7. Iowa State University, "Women and the 2013 Iowa School Board Elections," accessed July 11, 2014
  8. United States Census Bureau, "Iowa," accessed July 11, 2014
  9. Electronic School, "Survey of the State School Boards Associations on Term Limits for Local Board Members," accessed July 9, 2014
  10. Iowa Association of School Boards, "School Board Elections - Frequently Asked Questions," accessed July 11, 2014