California school district spending and test scores

Carmel 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 Carmel Unified compare to other California districts?

Spending per student

$17,451   Median: $8,234

API score in 2010

897   Median: 783

$17,451 spent per student ($35.5 million total expenditures)

Districts with similar spending per student
La Grange Elementary $17,858
Shoreline Unified $17,791
Saint Helena Unified $17,671
Carmel Unified $17,451
College Elementary $17,382
Willow Grove Union Elementary $17,307
Arena Union Elementary/Point Arena Joint Union High $17,127
Spending per student
in districts with similar attendance
Carmel Unified (2,032.60) $17,451
San Rafael City High (1,986.00) $11,900
Plumas Unified (2,007.90) $11,572
Red Bluff Union Elementary (2,039.20) $8,423
Taft City Elementary (1,986.90) $8,047
King City Union Elementary (2,043.90) $7,464
Auburn Union Elementary (2,034.10) $7,392
Spending per student in adjacent districts
Pacific Unified $59,638
Carmel Unified $17,451
Pacific Grove Unified $12,647
King City Joint Union High $9,893
Mission Union Elementary $9,068
San Antonio Union Elementary $8,376
Salinas Union High $8,250
Show more adjacent districts

897 API score in 2010

Districts with similar API scores in 2010
Walnut Valley Unified 898
Canyon Elementary 898
Eureka Union Elementary 897
Carmel Unified 897
Cayucos Elementary 896
Dixie Elementary 896
Newhall Elementary 896
API scores in 2010
in districts with similar attendance
Carmel Unified (2,032.60) 897
Auburn Union Elementary (2,034.10) 815
Plumas Unified (2,007.90) 811
Red Bluff Union Elementary (2,039.20) 786
San Rafael City High (1,986.00) 765
King City Union Elementary (2,043.90) 701
Taft City Elementary (1,986.90) 674
API scores in 2010 in adjacent districts
Pacific Unified N/A
Washington Union Elementary 903
Carmel Unified 897
Pacific Grove Unified 877
Spreckels Union Elementary 855
Mission Union Elementary 839
San Antonio Union Elementary 807
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