List of school districts in Iowa

This is a list of school districts in Iowa, sorted by Area Education Agencies (AEA). Districts are listed by their official names, though several schools use "Schools" in their name or website rather than "Community School District". As of July 2020, this list has not been expanded to include former school districts.


In the early 1900s the state had 4,873 school districts. The state government passed the Consolidated School of Law of 1906 and this figure fell to 4,863 in 1908, 4,839 in 1922,.[1] and 4,558 in 1953.[2] That year some additional laws were passed that contributed to reducing this further, and so this fell further to 458 as of July 1, 1965; that year another law made providing a high school mandatory for a school district,[3] which meant school districts that had one room schoolhouses were required to consolidate.[4]

By July 1, 1980, the number of districts was down to 443.[1] In 1984, there were 437 school districts in the state that operated high schools.[5] In 1990 the total number of school districts was 430.[1] In fall 1995 the number of school districts operating high schools was down to 353, and in 1995 670 was the median enrollment K-12 of an Iowa school district.[5] An Iowa Department of Education consultant named Guy Ghan referred to the 1990s school district mergers as the "third wave".[6]

The total number of school districts was 365 on July 1, 2005.[1] In the 2016–2017 school year there were 333 school districts, an 11% decrease from the same figure in 2000.[7]

Circa the 1980s school districts began agreements to share resources, such as particular employees, or "whole grade sharing" (where students of one or more grade levels are sent to a different school district to get their education). In 2005 Tom Vilsack, the Governor of Iowa, proposed that requirements for school districts to have certain numbers of students or sharing employees as ways of reducing local government spending, though Vilsack never enacted those requirements. In 2007 Josh Nelson of the WCF Courier wrote that "Lately, consolidation hasn't been as big of an issue compared to previous years."[4]

By 2016 population losses in rural areas have fueled further school district consolidations.[8] By 2017 there had been school districts that had formed from different generations of school consolidations.[9]

Central Rivers AEAEdit

Black Hawk CountyEdit

Bremer CountyEdit

Buchanan CountyEdit

Butler CountyEdit

Cerro Gordo CountyEdit

Chickasaw CountyEdit

Floyd CountyEdit

Franklin CountyEdit

Grundy CountyEdit

Hancock CountyEdit

Hardin CountyEdit

Marshall CountyEdit

Mitchell CountyEdit

Powesheik CountyEdit

Tama CountyEdit

Winnebago CountyEdit

Worth CountyEdit

Wright CountyEdit

Grant Wood AEAEdit

Benton CountyEdit

Cedar CountyEdit

Iowa CountyEdit

Johnson CountyEdit

Jones CountyEdit

Linn CountyEdit

Washington CountyEdit

Great Prairie AEAEdit

Appanoose CountyEdit

Davis CountyEdit

Des Moines CountyEdit

Henry CountyEdit

Jefferson CountyEdit

Keokuk CountyEdit

Lee CountyEdit

Louisa CountyEdit

Lucas CountyEdit

Mahaska CountyEdit

Monroe CountyEdit

Van Buren CountyEdit

Wapello CountyEdit

Wayne CountyEdit

Green Hills AEAEdit

Adair CountyEdit

Adams CountyEdit

Carroll CountyEdit

Cass CountyEdit

Clarke CountyEdit

Decatur CountyEdit

Fremont CountyEdit

Harrison CountyEdit

Mills CountyEdit

Montgomery CountyEdit

Page CountyEdit

Pottawattamie CountyEdit

Ringgold CountyEdit

Shelby CountyEdit

Taylor CountyEdit

Union CountyEdit

Wayne CountyEdit

Heartland AEAEdit

Audubon CountyEdit

Boone CountyEdit

Carroll CountyEdit

Dallas CountyEdit

Guthrie CountyEdit

Jasper CountyEdit

Madison CountyEdit

Marion CountyEdit

Polk CountyEdit

Shelby CountyEdit

Story CountyEdit

Warren CountyEdit

Keystone AEAEdit

Allamakee CountyEdit

Chickasaw CountyEdit

Clayton CountyEdit

Delaware CountyEdit

Dubuque CountyEdit

Fayette CountyEdit

Howard CountyEdit

Winneshiek CountyEdit

Mississippi Bend AEAEdit

Cedar CountyEdit

Clinton CountyEdit

Jackson CountyEdit

Louisa CountyEdit

Muscatine CountyEdit

Scott CountyEdit

Northwest AEAEdit

Cherokee CountyEdit

Crawford CountyEdit

Ida CountyEdit

Lyon CountyEdit

Monona CountyEdit

O'Brien CountyEdit

Osceola CountyEdit

Plymouth CountyEdit

Sioux CountyEdit

Woodbury CountyEdit

Prairie Lakes AEAEdit

Buena Vista CountyEdit

Calhoun CountyEdit

Clay CountyEdit

Dickinson CountyEdit

Emmet CountyEdit

Greene CountyEdit

Hamilton CountyEdit

Humboldt CountyEdit

Kossuth CountyEdit

Palo Alto CountyEdit

Pocahontas CountyEdit

Sac CountyEdit

Webster CountyEdit

Wright CountyEdit

See alsoEdit


  • Anderson, Christopher L. (November 2009). "School District Reorganization in Iowa: Considerations for Administrators, School Boards, and Communities (PhD thesis)" (PDF). Drake University. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)

Reference notesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d "REORGANIZATION & DISSOLUTION ACTION SINCE 1965-66" (PDF). Iowa Department of Education. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2020-09-27. Retrieved 2021-03-04. - The milestones for 1980, 1990, and 2005 were referred to in Anderson, p. 18 (PDF p. 26/118).
  2. ^ "DISTRICT NAME CHANGES". Iowa Department of Education. Archived from the original on 2005-10-03. Retrieved 2021-03-07.
  3. ^ Anderson, p. 18 (PDF p. 26/118).
  4. ^ a b Nelson, Josh (2007-03-11). "School ties". WCF Courier. Retrieved 2021-04-25.
  5. ^ a b Siebert, Mark (1995-09-17). "Survival of the littlest". The Des Moines Register. Des Moines, Iowa. pp. 1B, 8B. - See clippings of first and of second pages at
  6. ^ Bloom, Elizabeth (1995-10-29). "Consultant thinks school consolidation phase nearing an end". Waterloo Courier. Waterloo, Iowa. p. B4. - Clipping from
  7. ^ Patane, Matthew (2018-04-30). "How we got here: School consolidation leads to 11 percent drop in number of districts". The Gazette. Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
  8. ^ Vujicic, Aleksandra (2016-05-29). "More rural Iowa school districts plan to close their doors". Des Moines Register. Retrieved 2021-03-07.
  9. ^ Duffy, Molly (2017-02-20). "Iowa school districts cope with when to consolidate - and when to stand alone". The Gazette. Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit