California school district spending and test scores

Torrance 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 Torrance Unified compare to other California districts?

Spending per student

$7,505   Median: $8,234

API score in 2010

853   Median: 783

$7,505 spent per student ($177.2 million total expenditures)

Districts with similar spending per student
Folsom-Cordova Unified $7,515
William S. Hart Union High $7,507
Yreka Union Elementary $7,507
Torrance Unified $7,505
Fairfield-Suisun Unified $7,496
Arvin Union Elementary $7,495
San Marcos Unified $7,493
Spending per student
in districts with similar attendance
Compton Unified (24,069.20) $10,586
East Side Union High (23,456.70) $8,671
Chula Vista Elementary (22,356.60) $8,249
Palm Springs Unified (22,294.30) $8,164
Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified (24,855.40) $7,826
Torrance Unified (23,617.30) $7,505
Chaffey Joint Union High (23,706.50) $7,465
Spending per student in adjacent districts
Los Angeles Unified $10,015
Centinela Valley Union High $9,366
Lawndale Elementary $8,390
Redondo Beach Unified $7,991
Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified $7,812
Torrance Unified $7,505

853 API score in 2010

Districts with similar API scores in 2010
Browns Elementary 853
Bonsall Union Elementary 853
San Marcos Unified 853
Torrance Unified 853
Hickman Community Charter 852
Indian Springs Elementary 852
Valley Home Joint Elementary 852
API scores in 2010
in districts with similar attendance
Torrance Unified (23,617.30) 853
Chula Vista Elementary (22,356.60) 848
Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified (24,855.40) 847
Chaffey Joint Union High (23,706.50) 747
East Side Union High (23,456.70) 736
Palm Springs Unified (22,294.30) 733
Compton Unified (24,069.20) 679
API scores in 2010 in adjacent districts
Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified 912
Redondo Beach Unified 868
Torrance Unified 853
Lawndale Elementary 794
Los Angeles Unified 709
Centinela Valley Union High 644
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