California school district spending and test scores

Downey 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 Downey Unified compare to other California districts?

Spending per student

$7,572   Median: $8,234

API score in 2010

771   Median: 783

$7,572 spent per student ($164.7 million total expenditures)

Districts with similar spending per student
Lake Elsinore Unified $7,574
Charter Oak Unified $7,573
Curtis Creek Elementary $7,573
Downey Unified $7,572
Apple Valley Unified $7,569
Greenfield Union Elementary $7,559
Guadalupe Union Elementary $7,558
Spending per student
in districts with similar attendance
Antelope Valley Union High (21,628.00) $8,604
Vista Unified (21,558.60) $8,522
Ontario-Montclair Elementary (22,090.50) $8,340
Downey Unified (21,745.10) $7,572
William S. Hart Union High (21,980.20) $7,507
Tustin Unified (21,589.20) $7,096
Manteca Unified (21,991.50) $6,622
Spending per student in adjacent districts
Los Angeles Unified $10,015
Whittier Union High $8,393
Paramount Unified $8,321
Norwalk-La Mirada Unified $8,301
Montebello Unified $8,292
El Rancho Unified $8,184
Lynwood Unified $8,061
Show more adjacent districts

771 API score in 2010

Districts with similar API scores in 2010
Heber Elementary 771
Mammoth Unified 771
Nuview Union Elementary 771
Downey Unified 771
Ducor Union Elementary 771
Bend Elementary 770
Chatom Union Elementary 770
API scores in 2010
in districts with similar attendance
Tustin Unified (21,589.20) 850
William S. Hart Union High (21,980.20) 824
Vista Unified (21,558.60) 785
Downey Unified (21,745.10) 771
Manteca Unified (21,991.50) 750
Ontario-Montclair Elementary (22,090.50) 740
Antelope Valley Union High (21,628.00) 671
API scores in 2010 in adjacent districts
Little Lake City Elementary 807
Bellflower Unified 777
Downey Unified 771
Whittier Union High 765
Norwalk-La Mirada Unified 754
El Rancho Unified 745
Paramount Unified 733
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