California school district spending and test scores

Los Angeles 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 Los Angeles Unified compare to other California districts?

Spending per student

$10,015   Median: $8,234

API score in 2010

709   Median: 783

$10,015 spent per student ($5.8 billion total expenditures)

Districts with similar spending per student
Del Norte County Unified $10,071
Fallbrook Union High $10,068
Roseland Elementary $10,059
Los Angeles Unified $10,015
Santa Monica-Malibu Unified $10,010
Little Shasta Elementary $9,951
Marcum-Illinois Union Elementary $9,941
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
Beverly Hills Unified $11,122
Compton Unified $10,586
Pasadena Unified $10,104
Los Angeles Unified $10,015
Santa Monica-Malibu Unified $10,010
Lennox Elementary $9,759
Centinela Valley Union High $9,366
Show more adjacent districts

709 API score in 2010

Districts with similar API scores in 2010
Colton Joint Unified 710
Emery Unified 709
Southern Kern Unified 709
Los Angeles Unified 709
Orange Center Elementary 708
Kern Union High 708
Big Springs Union Elementary 708
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
La Canada Unified 933
Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified 912
South Pasadena Unified 911
Newhall Elementary 896
Las Virgenes Unified 882
El Segundo Unified 881
Beverly Hills Unified 872
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