California school district spending and test scores

Capistrano 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 Capistrano Unified compare to other California districts?

Spending per student

$7,246   Median: $8,234

API score in 2010

862   Median: 783

$7,246 spent per student ($356.0 million total expenditures)

Districts with similar spending per student
Union Elementary $7,271
Berryessa Union Elementary $7,264
Hope Elementary $7,264
Capistrano Unified $7,246
Tehachapi Unified $7,233
Soulsbyville Elementary $7,230
Upland Unified $7,224
Spending per student
in districts with similar attendance
San Bernardino City Unified (48,151.20) $10,175
San Francisco Unified (48,736.50) $9,715
Santa Ana Unified (51,936.20) $8,396
Garden Grove Unified (46,503.20) $8,193
Elk Grove Unified (58,583.70) $8,057
Corona-Norco Unified (50,531.90) $7,303
Capistrano Unified (49,129.20) $7,246
Spending per student in adjacent districts
Laguna Beach Unified $13,773
Fallbrook Union High $10,068
Fallbrook Union Elementary $8,084
Saddleback Valley Unified $7,472
Murrieta Valley Unified $7,367
Capistrano Unified $7,246

862 API score in 2010

Districts with similar API scores in 2010
Lowell Joint Elementary 862
Lammersville Elementary 862
Oak View Union Elementary 862
Capistrano Unified 862
Big Creek Elementary 862
Burnt Ranch Elementary 862
Bonny Doon Union Elementary 862
API scores in 2010
in districts with similar attendance
Capistrano Unified (49,129.20) 862
Garden Grove Unified (46,503.20) 802
Corona-Norco Unified (50,531.90) 801
Elk Grove Unified (58,583.70) 791
San Francisco Unified (48,736.50) 791
Santa Ana Unified (51,936.20) 723
San Bernardino City Unified (48,151.20) 699
API scores in 2010 in adjacent districts
Laguna Beach Unified 895
Capistrano Unified 862
Saddleback Valley Unified 859
Murrieta Valley Unified 837
Fallbrook Union Elementary 799
Fallbrook Union High 747
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