California school district spending and test scores

Mendocino 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 Mendocino Unified compare to other California districts?

Spending per student

$14,211   Median: $8,234

API score in 2010

825   Median: 783

$14,211 spent per student ($6.8 million total expenditures)

Districts with similar spending per student
Rancho Santa Fe Elementary $14,287
Monte Rio Union Elementary $14,280
Panoche Elementary $14,232
Mendocino Unified $14,211
Lone Pine Unified $14,207
San Pasqual Valley Unified $14,028
Lincoln Elementary $13,816
Spending per student
in districts with similar attendance
Mendocino Unified (475.90) $14,211
Summerville Union High (470.00) $11,266
Meadows Union Elementary (476.00) $8,754
Ferndale Unified (475.00) $8,462
Knightsen Elementary (476.90) $7,824
Foresthill Union Elementary (463.00) $7,670
Ackerman Elementary (479.90) $6,474
Spending per student in adjacent districts
Manchester Union Elementary $15,470
Mendocino Unified $14,211
Anderson Valley Unified $10,891
Fort Bragg Unified $9,523
Ukiah Unified $9,493
Willits Unified $9,182

825 API score in 2010

Districts with similar API scores in 2010
Elverta Joint Elementary 825
San Lorenzo Valley Unified 825
Central Union Elementary 825
Mendocino Unified 825
Julian Union Elementary 825
East Whittier City Elementary 824
Sylvan Union Elementary 824
API scores in 2010
in districts with similar attendance
Knightsen Elementary (476.90) 848
Ackerman Elementary (479.90) 846
Mendocino Unified (475.90) 825
Foresthill Union Elementary (463.00) 816
Summerville Union High (470.00) 797
Ferndale Unified (475.00) 784
Meadows Union Elementary (476.00) 748
API scores in 2010 in adjacent districts
Mendocino Unified 825
Anderson Valley Unified 776
Fort Bragg Unified 762
Manchester Union Elementary 752
Willits Unified 716
Ukiah Unified 714
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