Greenville County School District (GCSD) is a public school district in Greenville County, South Carolina (USA). It is the largest school district in the state of South Carolina and the 44th largest in the US. Greenville CSD also takes students from some areas of Spartanburg and Laurens counties. Led by Superintendent of Schools W Burke Royster, GCSD serves over 76,000 students and employs 9,800 people spread across 84 schools and 17 specialty and early education centers. GCSD has an operating budget of $536.7 million for the 2014 - 2015 school year. GCSD has 13 National Blue Ribbon Schools, 9 Newsweek's Best High Schools, 21 Carolina First Palmetto's Finest Schools, 48 Red Carpet Schools, and 29 National PTA Schools of Excellence.
At the end of World War II, Greenville County had 86 school districts. The smallest was a one-room school; the two largest, Parker and Greenville City, served two-thirds of the student population.
On August 23, 1951 the Greenville County Board of Education, chaired by J. B. League, established the School District of Greenville County and appointed nine trustees, with A. D. Asbury as chair. Dr. William F. Loggins was the first superintendent. An educational program of greater equality began to emerge, mainly by consolidating smaller schools.
In 1963, the local NAACP filed suit in the federal district court, for the children of A. J. Whittenberg and five other blacks to attend all-white schools. They were represented by Willie Smith and Matthew Perry, while the district was represented by its attorney E. P. (Ted) Riley. On April 14, after a federal judge gave the school board thirty days to reconsider, Superintendent Marion T. Anderson announced that fifty-five black students would be transferred to sixteen white schools in 1964.
Integration did not go smoothly and in May 1968 the state supreme court declared freedom of choice plans unacceptable. Opposition organizations were formed including Citizens for Freedom of Choice, Citizens to Prevent Busing, and Concerned Black Parents, chaired by H. L. Sullivan. In February 1970, most all-black schools were closed. 60% of the black and 10% of the white students were reassigned. 75% of the busing involved black students.
GCSD students attend schools based primarily on the geographic location of their homes. Schools of a lower level 'feed into' a certain school of the next highest level, meaning that students leaving the lower level schools attend the higher level school. Exceptions to the feeder system are students wishing to enroll in the magnet schools programs offered in 12 schools, or those who participate in the International Baccalaureate, which is offered in its three levels at four clusters over the county. Parents of students may also request transfers out of their students' assigned schools for various reasons (such as to take classes unique to a particular school).
During the 2011 school year 4,380 students graduated from GCSD High Schools. Out of these nearly 90% pursued higher education, with a scholarship total of $95 million.
In 2006, 21% of the 22,850 AP exams completed in South Carolina were taken by Greenville County students. The percentage of exams qualifying for college credit increased from 43% to 48% (2,192 of 4,568 exams).
The school district has also established a foundation that has successfully raised funds for student programs.
In 2005, six Greenville County elementary schools and two middle schools were identified in a study released by the South Carolina Education Oversight Committee (EOC) as reducing the achievement gap for at least one historically underachieving student group.