California school district spending and test scores

Saddleback Valley 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 Saddleback Valley Unified compare to other California districts?

Spending per student

$7,472   Median: $8,234

API score in 2010

859   Median: 783

$7,472 spent per student ($232.3 million total expenditures)

Districts with similar spending per student
Nuview Union Elementary $7,488
Gratton Elementary $7,472
Meridian Elementary $7,472
Saddleback Valley Unified $7,472
Manhattan Beach Unified $7,467
Chaffey Joint Union High $7,465
King City Union Elementary $7,464
Spending per student
in districts with similar attendance
Montebello Unified (31,027.00) $8,292
Mt. Diablo Unified (32,471.90) $8,199
Anaheim Union High (31,281.10) $8,168
Chino Valley Unified (30,688.00) $7,533
Saddleback Valley Unified (31,087.90) $7,472
Fremont Unified (31,014.40) $7,449
Poway Unified (32,555.50) $7,216
Spending per student in adjacent districts
Laguna Beach Unified $13,773
Irvine Unified $7,606
Lake Elsinore Unified $7,574
Saddleback Valley Unified $7,472
Murrieta Valley Unified $7,367
Capistrano Unified $7,246
Orange Unified $7,208

859 API score in 2010

Districts with similar API scores in 2010
Santee Elementary 860
Carlsbad Unified 859
Cienega Union Elementary 859
Saddleback Valley Unified 859
Alpine Union Elementary 858
Nevada City Elementary 858
Fieldbrook Elementary 858
API scores in 2010
in districts with similar attendance
Poway Unified (32,555.50) 883
Fremont Unified (31,014.40) 868
Saddleback Valley Unified (31,087.90) 859
Chino Valley Unified (30,688.00) 812
Mt. Diablo Unified (32,471.90) 784
Anaheim Union High (31,281.10) 748
Montebello Unified (31,027.00) 710
API scores in 2010 in adjacent districts
Irvine Unified 916
Laguna Beach Unified 895
Capistrano Unified 862
Saddleback Valley Unified 859
Murrieta Valley Unified 837
Lake Elsinore Unified 814
Orange Unified 806
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