The DeKalb County School District was founded in Georgia in 1873 when residents of the county raised $4,200 to open a public school. The state did not provide funds for public schools until 1945, when the Georgia Constitution established free public schools.
DeKalb County was established in 1823 and for the first 50 years all schools within the county were private. The first of those schools was DeKalb Academy, which opened in 1825. The public school system in the county saw a rapid growth in the 1950s and 1960s. As of 2015, the DeKalb County School District has 137 schools and 101,000 students within its system.