California school district spending and test scores

Tehachapi 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 Tehachapi Unified compare to other California districts?

Spending per student

$7,233   Median: $8,234

API score in 2010

778   Median: 783

$7,233 spent per student ($33.0 million total expenditures)

Districts with similar spending per student
Berryessa Union Elementary $7,264
Hope Elementary $7,264
Capistrano Unified $7,246
Tehachapi Unified $7,233
Soulsbyville Elementary $7,230
Upland Unified $7,224
Poway Unified $7,216
Spending per student
in districts with similar attendance
Bassett Unified (4,563.40) $9,516
Shasta Union High (4,545.60) $8,985
Mountain View-Whisman Elementary (4,524.40) $8,818
Union Elementary (4,583.80) $7,271
Tehachapi Unified (4,566.70) $7,233
Atascadero Unified (4,596.50) $7,135
Buckeye Union Elementary (4,571.90) $6,550
Spending per student in adjacent districts
Caliente Union Elementary $13,643
Kern Union High $9,109
Southern Kern Unified $7,935
Mojave Unified $7,643
Arvin Union Elementary $7,495
Di Giorgio Elementary $7,408
Tehachapi Unified $7,233

778 API score in 2010

Districts with similar API scores in 2010
Empire Union Elementary 778
Alpine County Unified 778
Santa Rita Union Elementary 778
Tehachapi Unified 778
Gilroy Unified 777
Indian Diggings Elementary 777
New Haven Unified 777
API scores in 2010
in districts with similar attendance
Union Elementary (4,583.80) 905
Buckeye Union Elementary (4,571.90) 887
Mountain View-Whisman Elementary (4,524.40) 826
Shasta Union High (4,545.60) 808
Atascadero Unified (4,596.50) 804
Tehachapi Unified (4,566.70) 778
Bassett Unified (4,563.40) 734
API scores in 2010 in adjacent districts
Tehachapi Unified 778
Di Giorgio Elementary 716
Southern Kern Unified 709
Kern Union High 708
Arvin Union Elementary 706
Caliente Union Elementary 677
Mojave Unified 670
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