District Type Glossary of Terms, 2011-12

The following paragraphs explain TEA district type classifications.

Major Urban (10 districts). A district is classified as major urban if: (a) it is located in a county with a population of at least 825,000; (b) its enrollment is the largest in the county or at least 75 percent of the largest district enrollment in the county; and (c) at least 35 percent of enrolled students are economically disadvantaged. A student is reported as economically disadvantaged if he or she is eligible for free or reduced-price meals under the National School Lunch and Child Nutrition Program.  

Example:

Austin ISD (227901) is in Travis County, which has a population of 1,059,887. Austin ISD's enrollment of 86,124 students is the largest enrollment in the county, and at least 35 percent of the enrolled students are economically disadvantaged. 

Major Suburban (79 districts). A district is classified as major suburban if: (a) it does not meet the criteria for classification as major urban; (b) it is contiguous to a major urban district; and (c) its enrollment is at least three percent that of the contiguous major urban district or at least 4,500 students. A district also is classified as major suburban if: (a) it does not meet the criteria for classification as major urban; (b) it is not contiguous to a major urban district; (c) it is located in the same county as a major urban district; and (d) its enrollment is at least 15 percent that of the nearest major urban district in the county or at least 4,500 students.

Examples:

Castleberry ISD (220917) is in Tarrant County, which has a population of 1,863,771, but it does not meet the criteria for classification as major urban. Castleberry ISD is contiguous to Fort Worth ISD, a major urban district, and its enrollment of 3,660 students is greater than three percent that of Fort Worth ISD.

Goose Creek CISD (101911) is in Harris County, which has a population of 4,209,769 and contains at least one district classified as major urban. Goose Creek CISD does not meet the criteria for classification as major urban, nor is it contiguous to a major urban district. Although Goose Creek CISD's enrollment of 21,511 students is less than 15 percent that of Houston ISD, the nearest major urban district in Harris County, it exceeds 4,500 students.

Other Central City (40 districts). A district is classified as other central city if: (a) it does not meet the criteria for classification in either of the previous subcategories; (b) it is not contiguous to a major urban district; (c) it is located in a county with a population of between 100,000 and 824,999; and (d) its enrollment is the largest in the county or at least 75 percent of the largest district enrollment in the county.

Examples:

Brownsville ISD (031901) is in Cameron County, which has a population of 417,514. Brownsville ISD does not meet the criteria for classification in either of the previous subcategories, and it is not contiguous to a major urban district. Brownsville ISD's enrollment of 49,593 students is the largest in the county.

McAllen ISD (108906) is in Hidalgo County, which has a population of 807,655. McAllen ISD does not meet the criteria for classification in either of the previous subcategories, and it is not contiguous to a major urban district. Although McAllen ISD's enrollment of 25,126 students is not the largest in the county, it is greater than 75 percent of the largest district enrollment in the county.  

Other Central City Suburban (161 districts). A district is classified as other central city suburban if: (a) it does not meet the criteria for classification in any of the previous subcategories; (b) it is located in a county with a population of between 100,000 and 824,999; and (c) its enrollment is at least 15 percent of the largest district enrollment in the county. A district also is other central city suburban if: (a) it does not meet the criteria for classification in any of the previous subcategories; (b) it is contiguous to an other central city district; (c) its enrollment is greater than three percent that of the contiguous other central city district; and (d) its enrollment exceeds the median district enrollment of 807 students for the state.  

Examples:

Harlingen CISD (031903) is in Cameron County, which has a population of 417,514. Harlingen CISD does not meet the criteria for classification in any of the previous subcategories. Its enrollment of 18,464 students is greater than 15 percent of the largest district enrollment in the county.

Port Arthur ISD (123907) is in Jefferson County, which has a population of 253,398. Port Arthur ISD does not meet the criteria for classification in any of the previous subcategories. Port Arthur ISD is contiguous to Beaumont ISD, an other central city district that also is the largest district in the county. Port Arthur ISD's enrollment of 8,928 students is greater than three percent that of Beaumont ISD and exceeds the median district enrollment for the state of 807 students.

Independent Town (70 districts). A district is classified as independent town if: (a) it does not meet the criteria for classification in any of the previous subcategories; (b) it is located in a county with a population of 25,000 to 99,999; and (c) its enrollment is the largest in the county or greater than 75 percent of the largest district enrollment in the county.  

Examples:

Victoria ISD (235902) is in Victoria County, which has a population of 87,596. Victoria ISD does not meet the criteria for classification in any of the previous subcategories. Its enrollment of 14,333 students is the largest in the county.

Winnsboro ISD (250907) is in Wood County, which has a population of 42,182. Winnsboro ISD does not meet the criteria for classification in any of the previous subcategories. Its enrollment of 1,517 students is greater than 75 percent of the largest district enrollment in the county.

Non-Metropolitan: Fast Growing (29 districts). A district is classified as non-metropolitan: fast growing if: (a) it does not meet the criteria for classification in any of the previous subcategories; (b) it has an enrollment of at least 300 students; and (c) its enrollment has increased by at least 20 percent over the past five years.

Example:

Jarrell ISD (246907) is in Williamson County, which has a population of 448,354. Jarrell ISD does not meet the criteria for classification in any of the previous subcategories. Jarrell ISD has an enrollment of 1,005 students, and its enrollment has increased by more than 42 percent over the past five years.

Non-Metropolitan: Stable (192 districts). A district is classified as non-metropolitan: stable if: (a) it does not meet the criteria for classification in any of the previous subcategories; and (b) its enrollment exceeds the median district enrollment for the state.

Example:

Snyder ISD (208902) is in Scurry County, which has a population of 16,973. Snyder ISD does not meet the criteria for classification in any of the previous subcategories. Its enrollment of 2,742 students exceeds the median district enrollment for the state of 807 students.

Rural (448 districts). A district is classified as rural if it does not meet the criteria for classification in any of the previous subcategories. A rural district has either: (a) an enrollment of between 300 and the median district enrollment for the state and an enrollment growth rate over the past five years of less than 20 percent; or (b) an enrollment of less than 300 students.  

Examples:

Valley View ISD (049903) is in Cooke County, which has a population of 38,762. Valley View ISD has an enrollment of 673 students and an enrollment growth rate over the past five years of less than 20 percent.  

Mount Calm ISD (109910) is in Hill County, which has a population of 35,861. Although Mount Calm ISD has an enrollment growth rate over the past five years of more than 20 percent, its current enrollment is only 174 students.

Charter School Districts (198 districts). Charter school districts are open-enrollment school districts chartered by the State Board of Education. Established by the Texas Legislature in 1995 to promote local initiative, charter school districts are subject to fewer regulations than other public school districts. Generally, charter school districts are subject to laws and rules that ensure fiscal and academic accountability but that do not unduly regulate instructional methods or pedagogical innovation. Like other public school districts, charter school districts are monitored and accredited under the statewide testing and accountability system.  

Example:

George I. Sanchez Charter School (101804) is in Harris County, which has a population of 4,209,769, and the charter district has an enrollment of 633 students.

Contact Information

For questions or comments, please e‑mail the Division of Research and Analysis, Accountability Research Unit, or contact the unit by phone at 512-475-3523.

This page last updated January 21, 2011.