Chapter 1.1


1.1 - What is a local education agency?

Pennsylvania’s public school system is made up of 500 school districts ("SD"), 29 intermediate units ("IU"), nearly 180 charter and cyber charter schools ("CS") and 80 career and technical education centers ("CTC"). These entities are referred to, for state and federal purposes, as local education agencies—or "LEAs". An LEA's powers and duties are established and governed by the Public School Code.

Click on the image links below to view our first in a series of data maps. Each of our maps will illustrate data relevant to the topic of the day for each school district. You can find the map legend at the top left of your screen after opening the map. Hover over any school district with your mouse to open a pop-up label providing information associated with that school district. In most maps, you can filter school districts by locale type (urban, suburban, town, or rural), by intermediate unit, and occasionally by other factors as well.

  • School Districts: Pennsylvania’s 500 school districts span all corners of Pennsylvania, and there is tremendous diversity across districts in terms of geographic size, student population, wealth, etc. Funded by state, federal and local sources, school districts must offer a k-12 curriculum to all resident students.

  • Intermediate Units: Pennsylvania is broken into 29 intermediate units (IUs), which are LEAs that provide instructional support and other services to school districts within their boundaries. The size of the IU and the type of programs offered by IUs varies across the state, with some providing special education programs, transportation programs, professional development programs, alternative education programs and everything in between for member districts. IUs receive very limited funding from the state and are generally entrepreneurial.

The two interactive maps below allow you to filter by school districts, intermediate unit, and Senate/House districts. In the search menu on the right, type in your legislative district and click on it when it appears in the search. Then select apply and the map will only show the school districts in that legislative district.

  • Charter and Cyber Charter Schools: Pennsylvania has nearly 180 charter and cyber charter schools in operation. Brick and mortar charter schools are authorized by the school districts in which they are located, and cyber charter schools are authorized by the PA Department of Education. All charter schools are funded by the school district of residence of each student attending the charter school. Click on the image link below to view our interactive map of charter schools in Pennsylvania.

  • Career and Technical Education Centers: There are more than 80 career and technical education centers (CTCs) operating in Pennsylvania. CTCs offer students hands on learning experiences in a wide array of subject areas to prepare them for careers after graduation. CTCs are primarily funded by the sending school districts. Click on the image link below to view our interactive map of career and technical centers in Pennsylvania. You can filter CTCs and school districts by intermediate unit.