California school district spending and test scores

Pierce Joint 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 Pierce Joint Unified compare to other California districts?

Spending per student

$7,428   Median: $8,234

API score in 2010

737   Median: 783

$7,428 spent per student ($9.5 million total expenditures)

Districts with similar spending per student
Castro Valley Unified $7,429
Newman-Crows Landing Unified $7,429
Visalia Unified $7,428
Pierce Joint Unified $7,428
Oak Grove Union Elementary $7,427
Evergreen Elementary $7,418
Santa Maria-Bonita Elementary $7,414
Spending per student
in districts with similar attendance
Saint Helena Unified (1,274.20) $17,671
Caruthers Unified (1,280.80) $8,489
Palermo Union Elementary (1,251.40) $8,278
Mark West Union Elementary (1,268.20) $7,639
Pierce Joint Unified (1,272.50) $7,428
Piner-Olivet Union Elementary (1,271.90) $7,407
Mother Lode Union Elementary (1,273.50) $7,379
Spending per student in adjacent districts
Esparto Unified $8,082
Colusa Unified $7,985
Sutter Union High $7,856
Winship-Robbins School District $7,715
Woodland Joint Unified $7,646
Pierce Joint Unified $7,428
Williams Unified $7,283

737 API score in 2010

Districts with similar API scores in 2010
Oroville City Elementary 737
Death Valley Unified 737
Lodi Unified 737
Pierce Joint Unified 737
Pope Valley Union Elementary 736
East Side Union High 736
Winship-Robbins School District 736
API scores in 2010
in districts with similar attendance
Mark West Union Elementary (1,268.20) 854
Mother Lode Union Elementary (1,273.50) 849
Piner-Olivet Union Elementary (1,271.90) 808
Saint Helena Unified (1,274.20) 793
Palermo Union Elementary (1,251.40) 759
Caruthers Unified (1,280.80) 749
Pierce Joint Unified (1,272.50) 737
API scores in 2010 in adjacent districts
Pierce Joint Unified 737
Esparto Unified 736
Winship-Robbins School District 736
Woodland Joint Unified 733
Sutter Union High 727
Williams Unified 726
Colusa Unified 710
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