California school district spending and test scores

Fresno 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 Fresno Unified compare to other California districts?

Spending per student

$9,199   Median: $8,234

API score in 2010

711   Median: 783

$9,199 spent per student ($620.4 million total expenditures)

Districts with similar spending per student
San Jose Unified $9,224
Farmersville Unified $9,223
Belleview Elementary $9,218
Fresno Unified $9,199
Seeley Union Elementary $9,193
Moreland Elementary $9,183
Willits Unified $9,182
Spending per student
in districts with similar attendance
Los Angeles Unified (576,700.40) $10,015
San Diego Unified (110,420.40) $9,855
Fresno Unified (67,444.60) $9,199
Long Beach Unified (81,638.70) $8,719
Santa Ana Unified (51,936.20) $8,396
Elk Grove Unified (58,583.70) $8,057
Corona-Norco Unified (50,531.90) $7,303
Spending per student in adjacent districts
Washington Union High $10,940
West Fresno Elementary $9,934
West Park Elementary $9,573
Orange Center Elementary $9,264
Fresno Unified $9,199
Sanger Unified $8,425
Golden Valley Unified $8,210
Show more adjacent districts

711 API score in 2010

Districts with similar API scores in 2010
Woodlake Union Elementary 711
Chowchilla Union High 711
Inglewood Unified 711
Fresno Unified 711
Colton Joint Unified 710
Denair Unified 710
Colusa Unified 710
API scores in 2010
in districts with similar attendance
Corona-Norco Unified (50,531.90) 801
Elk Grove Unified (58,583.70) 791
San Diego Unified (110,420.40) 785
Long Beach Unified (81,638.70) 759
Santa Ana Unified (51,936.20) 723
Fresno Unified (67,444.60) 711
Los Angeles Unified (576,700.40) 709
API scores in 2010 in adjacent districts
Clovis Unified 866
Golden Valley Unified 822
Sanger Unified 805
Central Unified 748
Fowler Unified 740
Fresno Unified 711
Orange Center Elementary 708
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