Located in the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley in the county of Kern, the Bakersfield City School District (BCSD) is the largest elementary school district in California, serving approximately 30,000 students across 44 schools. The district operates on an annual General Fund Budget of over $400 million with approximately 3,000 personnel. Of the district’s approximate 30,700 students, 79% are Hispanic with 9% white and 8% African American. The remaining 4% are primarily Asian, Filipino, and American Indian/Alaskan. Almost 30% of the district’s students are classified as English Language Learners and almost 90% of the district’s students receive free or reduced lunches. BCSD is governed by a publicly-elected five-member Board of Education consisting of community members living within the boundaries of the school district.
Established in 1867, what is now the Bakersfield City School District was known as the Kern River Island School District. During its first year of operation, the Average Daily Attendance (ADA) in the Kern River Island District was seventeen students. The name of the school district was shortened to Kern Island School District in 1868 and it retained that name until 1882 when it became the Bakersfield City School District (BCSD).
By 1900, BCSD educated 566 students at three schools. Flash forward 120 years, and the Bakersfield City School District is the largest K-8 school in California, serving more than 30,000 students at 44 school sites.
Our vision in the Bakersfield City School District is to be the model of educational excellence, equity, and innovation. With a staff of more than 4,000, we work daily to achieve our mission, to educate all students at the highest levels of academic excellence to become collaborative, creative, and critical thinkers.