TABLE 3-1 Number and Percentage of U.S. School Districts* by Size and Percentage Approved for Free or Reduced-Price Meals


Size   Low FRPL High FRPL Very High FRPL

Large Number of districts 468 305 110
  Percentage of districts    3.6    2.4    0.9
  Percentage of enrollment   24.1   19.2    8.7
         
Medium Number of districts 1,415 722 187
  Percentage of districts     10.9    5.6    1.4
  Percentage of enrollment     16.0    8.4    2.1
         
Small Number of districts 5,645 3,092 994
  Percentage of districts      43.6      23.9    7.7
  Percentage of enrollment      12.9       6.6    1.9
         
Total Number of districts 7,528 4,119 1,291
  Percentage of districts     58.2      31.8      10.0
  Percentage of enrollment     52.9      34.1      12.8

NOTE: FRPL = free or reduced-price lunch.

*All school districts in the United States with Common Core of Data (CCD) free or reduced-price meals certifcation data for 2009-2010 and American Community Survey (ACS) estimates. Large districts have 1-year estimates. Medium-sized districts have 3-year estimates, but do not have 1-year estimates. Small districts have only 5-year estimates.
SOURCE: Prepared by the panel.

free or reduced-price meals. We also considered districts with more than 50 percent but never more than 75 percent of students eligible for free or reduced-price meals in the school years from 2004-2005 through 2009-2010 because these districts might be interested in the AEO for a subset of schools. We call these districts “high FRPL.” There are 4,119 such districts nationwide (32 percent of districts), enrolling 34 percent of all students and 44 percent of students certified for free or reduced-price meals.

The data collected on form FNS-742 (described in more detail later) show that only 431 of these school districts were operating under Provision 2 or 3, not in a base year, in 2009-2010. Of these, 296 were operating under Provision 2 or 3 districtwide, and 135 were operating under Provision 2 or 3 for only some schools. Of those operating under Provision 2 or 3 districtwide, 79 percent had an FRPL percentage greater than or equal to 75, 10 percent had an FRPL percentage greater than or equal to 50 but less than 75, and 12 percent had an FRPL percentage less than 50. Of the districts where Provision 2 or 3 was implemented for only some schools, 32 percent had a district-level FRPL percentage greater than or equal to 75, 45 percent had an FRPL percentage greater than or equal to 50 percent but less than 75, and 23 percent had an FRPL percentage less than 50. We also refer to districts as large, medium, and small, depending on whether they had 1-year, 3-year, and 5-year ACS direct estimates available (population



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