California school district spending and test scores

Santa Monica-Malibu 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 Santa Monica-Malibu Unified compare to other California districts?

Spending per student

$10,010   Median: $8,234

API score in 2010

844   Median: 783

$10,010 spent per student ($111.2 million total expenditures)

Districts with similar spending per student
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
Junction Elementary $9,936
Spending per student
in districts with similar attendance
Palo Alto Unified (11,252.30) $13,376
Santa Monica-Malibu Unified (11,111.00) $10,010
San Lorenzo Unified (10,514.50) $8,096
Ceres Unified (10,740.20) $7,901
Oak Grove Elementary (11,196.30) $7,826
Las Virgenes Unified (11,207.30) $7,742
Victor Elementary (10,983.20) $6,739
Spending per student in adjacent districts
Los Angeles Unified $10,015
Santa Monica-Malibu Unified $10,010
Oxnard Union High $8,084
Ocean View Elementary $7,766
Las Virgenes Unified $7,742
Conejo Valley Unified $7,687

844 API score in 2010

Districts with similar API scores in 2010
Junction Elementary 845
Montgomery Elementary 844
Cutten Elementary 844
Santa Monica-Malibu Unified 844
Oak Grove Union Elementary 843
Benicia Unified 843
Bradley Union Elementary 843
API scores in 2010
in districts with similar attendance
Palo Alto Unified (11,252.30) 925
Las Virgenes Unified (11,207.30) 882
Santa Monica-Malibu Unified (11,111.00) 844
Victor Elementary (10,983.20) 809
Oak Grove Elementary (11,196.30) 806
Ceres Unified (10,740.20) 754
San Lorenzo Unified (10,514.50) 739
API scores in 2010 in adjacent districts
Las Virgenes Unified 882
Conejo Valley Unified 866
Santa Monica-Malibu Unified 844
Ocean View Elementary 725
Oxnard Union High 720
Los Angeles Unified 709
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