California school district spending and test scores

Novato 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 Novato Unified compare to other California districts?

Spending per student

$7,974   Median: $8,234

API score in 2010

827   Median: 783

$7,974 spent per student ($58.4 million total expenditures)

Districts with similar spending per student
Colusa Unified $7,985
Bass Lake Joint Union Elementary $7,978
Washington Unified $7,975
Novato Unified $7,974
Banta Elementary $7,973
Arcohe Union Elementary $7,963
Central Union High $7,955
Spending per student
in districts with similar attendance
Sequoia Union High (7,602.40) $12,273
South Bay Union Elementary (7,298.50) $9,054
Escondido Union High (7,641.80) $8,517
Salinas City Elementary (7,583.70) $8,111
Delano Union Elementary (7,252.80) $8,086
Novato Unified (7,326.50) $7,974
Alisal Union Elementary (7,285.50) $7,816
Spending per student in adjacent districts
Union Joint Elementary $18,568
Nicasio Elementary $17,059
Tamalpais Union High $15,100
Lincoln Elementary $13,816
San Rafael City High $11,900
Laguna Joint Elementary $11,120
Dixie Elementary $9,761
Show more adjacent districts

827 API score in 2010

Districts with similar API scores in 2010
Soquel Union Elementary 828
Snelling-Merced Falls Union Elementary 827
Huntington Beach Union High 827
Novato Unified 827
Mountain View-Whisman Elementary 826
San Lorenzo Valley Unified 825
Mendocino Unified 825
API scores in 2010
in districts with similar attendance
Novato Unified (7,326.50) 827
South Bay Union Elementary (7,298.50) 781
Sequoia Union High (7,602.40) 780
Delano Union Elementary (7,252.80) 740
Salinas City Elementary (7,583.70) 735
Escondido Union High (7,641.80) 724
Alisal Union Elementary (7,285.50) 718
API scores in 2010 in adjacent districts
Union Joint Elementary N/A
Laguna Joint Elementary 929
Dixie Elementary 896
Nicasio Elementary 871
Tamalpais Union High 862
Novato Unified 827
Old Adobe Union Elementary 818
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