The structure and content of this document is mainly focused on the Census 2000 School District Special Tabulation data. Soon this document will be updated to reflect new, similar data from the 2006, 2007 and 2005-07 special tabulation data from the American Community Survey.
While school district demographic data have been developed since the 1970 Census, the first reliable data were from the 1990 Census. The 1990 Census data were the first school district special tabulation data; these data were developed by Census Bureau staff and principal developer Warren Glimpse for the U.S. Department of Education. The Census 2000 School District Special Tabulation (SDST) paralleled and improved upon the 1990 Census and included the first set of national scope school district boundary files for mapping and GIS applications.
The school district special tabulations are unique and important as they provide the only source of data on children's own demographic characteristics. The universe of tabulation is uniquely children (among other additional tabulation universe). How many children are in a county or school district with special needs? The answer to this type of question can only be provided by the SDST for national scope all counties and all school districts - there are no other sources.
Since 2000, school districts have been included as a geographic tabulation area in the 2006, 2007 and 2005-07 American Community Survey (ACS) programs. In each case a special tabulation has been or is being prepared which parallels the tabulation universes used for the Census 2000 SDST. The main limitation of the ACS is that a school district must have population of 20,000 or more (approximately 3,300 districts) to be included in the ACS 2005-07 program (or more in single year ACS programs). See School District Dynamics for more information.
In late 2010, the ACS 2005-09 5-year program will be released and include tabulations for all school districts. A special tabulation of these data is also planned. The ACS 2005-09 special tabulation data is expected to be available by mid 2011.
Unlike previous decennial censuses, school districts will be a standard tabulation geography for Census 2010. However, there will be no sample based tabulations from Census 2010. As a result, a full parallel of the Census 2000 SDST cannot be developed for Census 2010.
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