California school district spending and test scores

Colusa Unified School District

Despite years of efforts to equalize spending in California schools, some districts receive thousands of dollars more per student than others. And although some districts spent much more than the average, the bigger expenditure didn't assure higher scores on the state's Academic Performance Index, which is based on student test scores and other academic measures. Download a spreadsheet of spending per student and Academic Performance Index data for all school districts here.

How does Colusa Unified compare to other California districts?

Spending per student

$7,985   Median: $8,234

API score in 2010

710   Median: 783

$7,985 spent per student ($10.3 million total expenditures)

Districts with similar spending per student
Livermore Valley Joint Unified $7,993
Redondo Beach Unified $7,991
Liberty Elementary $7,990
Colusa Unified $7,985
Bass Lake Joint Union Elementary $7,978
Washington Unified $7,975
Novato Unified $7,974
Spending per student
in districts with similar attendance
Saint Helena Unified (1,274.20) $17,671
Thermalito Union Elementary (1,288.60) $9,363
Caruthers Unified (1,280.80) $8,489
Cascade Union Elementary (1,336.90) $8,299
Grass Valley Elementary (1,319.30) $8,136
Wright Elementary (1,418.30) $8,040
Colusa Unified (1,289.30) $7,985
Spending per student in adjacent districts
Princeton Joint Unified $10,103
Maxwell Unified $9,404
Colusa Unified $7,985
Sutter Union High $7,856
Gridley Unified $7,782
Live Oak Unified $7,745
Winship-Robbins School District $7,715
Show more adjacent districts

710 API score in 2010

Districts with similar API scores in 2010
Colton Joint Unified 710
Denair Unified 710
Montebello Unified 710
Colusa Unified 710
Westside Elementary 710
Emery Unified 709
Southern Kern Unified 709
API scores in 2010
in districts with similar attendance
Wright Elementary (1,418.30) 838
Saint Helena Unified (1,274.20) 793
Grass Valley Elementary (1,319.30) 780
Caruthers Unified (1,280.80) 749
Cascade Union Elementary (1,336.90) 748
Thermalito Union Elementary (1,288.60) 733
Colusa Unified (1,289.30) 710
API scores in 2010 in adjacent districts
Meridian Elementary 821
Gridley Unified 789
Maxwell Unified 776
Brittan Elementary 759
Pierce Joint Unified 737
Winship-Robbins School District 736
Live Oak Unified 735
Show more adjacent districts
A note about the data: Spending figures refer to "current expense of education" per student in average daily attendance in 2009-10. The figures exclude certain expenditures, such as retiree benefits, food services and facilities acquisition and construction costs. Figures should be interpreted in the context of local conditions.

The state's nearly 1,000 school districts are responsible for reporting the information to the state. If individual districts spot problems with the state-reported statistics in our database, California Watch will confirm and update the data while encouraging districts to correct any errors with the state so that the public has the most accurate data available.

Interactive by Agustin Armendariz and Michael Corey. Reporting by Louis Freedberg and Stephen K. Doig.

Source: California Department of Education
Filed under: K-12