California school district spending and test scores

Laguna Beach 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 Laguna Beach Unified compare to other California districts?

Spending per student

$13,773   Median: $8,234

API score in 2010

895   Median: 783

$13,773 spent per student ($38.1 million total expenditures)

Districts with similar spending per student
San Pasqual Valley Unified $14,028
Lincoln Elementary $13,816
Coast Unified $13,775
Laguna Beach Unified $13,773
Emery Unified $13,680
Caliente Union Elementary $13,643
Dunsmuir Joint Union High $13,634
Spending per student
in districts with similar attendance
Laguna Beach Unified (2,768.40) $13,773
Solana Beach Elementary (2,748.00) $11,112
Konocti Unified (2,805.40) $9,053
Rincon Valley Union Elementary (2,796.10) $7,913
Salida Union Elementary (2,756.60) $7,804
Burton Elementary (2,749.40) $7,737
Mountain View Elementary (2,778.80) $6,977
Spending per student in adjacent districts
Laguna Beach Unified $13,773
Newport-Mesa Unified $10,669
Irvine Unified $7,606
Saddleback Valley Unified $7,472
Capistrano Unified $7,246

895 API score in 2010

Districts with similar API scores in 2010
Newhall Elementary 896
Cayucos Elementary 896
Loomis Union Elementary 895
Laguna Beach Unified 895
Southside Elementary 894
Hope Elementary 894
Alexander Valley Union Elementary 894
API scores in 2010
in districts with similar attendance
Solana Beach Elementary (2,748.00) 936
Laguna Beach Unified (2,768.40) 895
Rincon Valley Union Elementary (2,796.10) 873
Mountain View Elementary (2,778.80) 814
Salida Union Elementary (2,756.60) 776
Burton Elementary (2,749.40) 774
Konocti Unified (2,805.40) 681
API scores in 2010 in adjacent districts
Irvine Unified 916
Laguna Beach Unified 895
Capistrano Unified 862
Saddleback Valley Unified 859
Newport-Mesa Unified 820
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