get to know the students who
make up our public schools


Background Heading

South Carolina Student Characteristics

School Year 2020-21
Background Heading

Sources: (1) “Active Student Headcounts, 135-Day Active Headcount,” South Carolina Department of Education (online: (2) “Poverty Index,” Download Data, SC School Report Card (online: (3) “Report Cards Data for Researchers,” Download Data, SC School Report Card (online:


Public school enrollment fell in South Carolina (by 2.5%) and in Greenville County Schools (by 4%) in 2020-21 due to factors related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  In the five years prior to that, South Carolina public school enrollment (including charter schools) had been increasing at a rate of 0.8% per year adding approximately 5,800 students per year.  Greenville County Schools had an additional drop in 2017-18 due to four charter schools moving from the school district to the South Carolina Public Charter School District (a statewide school district for charter schools).

Background Heading

Student Count (135-Day Active Headcount)

School Years 2012-13 to 2020-21

Enrollment is measured by the “135-day active student headcount,” or the number of students actively enrolled on the 135th day of school. (Student headcounts are also taken on the 45th and 180th days of the school year.)

Source: “Active Student Headcounts, 135-Day Active Headcount” South Carolina Department of Education. (online:




A new measure of poverty in South Carolina public schools was fully implemented in the 2015-16 school year. Since that time, the percentage of students in poverty in Greenville County Schools has been above 50% with it increasing to above 60% in 2020-21.  In South Carolina public schools, the rate has hovered around 61% to 62% the last four years.


The Poverty Index is the percentage of students who are transient, in foster care, homeless, or have been Medicaid-eligible or qualified for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) services within the last three years.

Poverty Index (Greenville County Schools Vs. South Carolina)

School Years 2015-16 to 2020-21

Source: Poverty Index data file, SC School Report Card, (online:


The number of homeless students enrolled in Greenville County Schools dropped in 2020-21 accounting for 1.1% of all enrolled students.  This is after six straight years of increases such that in the previous year the number of homeless equaled 1.5% of those enrolled.  Students identified as homeless include those living in shelters, in motels or doubling up with other families.


Homeless Students in Greenville County Schools

School Years 2011-12 to 2020-21
(2011-2012) 582 Students
(2012-2013) 869 Students
(2013-2014) 728 Students
(2014-2015) 771 Students
(2015-2016) 796 Students
(2016-2017) 946 Students
(2017-2018) 1,089 Students
(2018-2019) 1,124 Students
(2019-2020) 1,142 Students
(2020-2021) 825 Students

Source: Homeless Education Liaison Office, Greenville County Schools, and the Greenville Homeless Alliance.




More than one in seven students in Greenville County Schools is limited English proficient (LEP). The percentage has steadily increased over time. LEP students do not speak English as their primary language and have a limited ability to read, speak, write, or understand English. Learn more about the English language learner assessment.

Background Heading

Percent of Students with Limited English Proficiency

School Years 2017-18 to 2020-21

Source: Enrollment and English Learners, ReportCardData_forResearchers data file, SC School Report Card, (online:




One in six students in Greenville County Schools has some kind of disability.  The federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), defines disabled students as having one of the following conditions: 1.) specific learning disability (such as dyslexia); 2.) other health impairment (such as ADHD); 3.) autism spectrum disorder (ASD); 4.) emotional disturbance; 5.) speech or language impairment; 6.) visual impairment including blindness; 7.) deafness; 8.) hearing impairment; 9.) deaf-blindness; 10.) orthopedic impairment; 11.) intellectual disability (such as Down Syndrome); 12.) traumatic brain injury; and 13.) multiple disabilities.


Percent of Students with Disabilities

School Year 2020-21

Source: Participation Rates, ReportCardData_forResearchers data file, SC School Report Card, (online:; “The 13 Conditions Covered Under IDEA.” (online:




For public education

Contact your elected representatives about our public schools. They want to hear from you!

Share this...