California school district spending and test scores

Santa Ana 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 Santa Ana Unified compare to other California districts?

Spending per student

$8,396   Median: $8,234

API score in 2010

723   Median: 783

$8,396 spent per student ($436.1 million total expenditures)

Districts with similar spending per student
Enterprise Elementary $8,412
Cotati-Rohnert Park Unified $8,410
Anaheim City Elementary $8,399
Santa Ana Unified $8,396
Whittier Union High $8,393
American Union Elementary $8,392
Lawndale Elementary $8,390
Spending per student
in districts with similar attendance
San Francisco Unified (48,736.50) $9,715
Fresno Unified (67,444.60) $9,199
Long Beach Unified (81,638.70) $8,719
Santa Ana Unified (51,936.20) $8,396
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
Newport-Mesa Unified $10,669
Santa Ana Unified $8,396
Huntington Beach Union High $8,284
Garden Grove Unified $8,193
Irvine Unified $7,606
Orange Unified $7,208
Tustin Unified $7,096
Show more adjacent districts

723 API score in 2010

Districts with similar API scores in 2010
Stony Creek Joint Unified 724
Escondido Union High 724
Bishop Joint Union High 724
Santa Ana Unified 723
Willow Creek Elementary 722
Beardsley Elementary 721
Pomona Unified 721
API scores in 2010
in districts with similar attendance
Capistrano Unified (49,129.20) 862
Corona-Norco Unified (50,531.90) 801
Elk Grove Unified (58,583.70) 791
San Francisco Unified (48,736.50) 791
Long Beach Unified (81,638.70) 759
Santa Ana Unified (51,936.20) 723
Fresno Unified (67,444.60) 711
API scores in 2010 in adjacent districts
Irvine Unified 916
Fountain Valley Elementary 892
Tustin Unified 850
Huntington Beach Union High 827
Newport-Mesa Unified 820
Orange Unified 806
Garden Grove Unified 802
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