California school district spending and test scores

Tustin 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 Tustin Unified compare to other California districts?

Spending per student

$7,096   Median: $8,234

API score in 2010

850   Median: 783

$7,096 spent per student ($153.2 million total expenditures)

Districts with similar spending per student
Benicia Unified $7,111
Imperial Unified $7,109
Fieldbrook Elementary $7,099
Tustin Unified $7,096
Amador County Unified $7,093
Stone Corral Elementary $7,092
Fairfax Elementary $7,088
Spending per student
in districts with similar attendance
Antelope Valley Union High (21,628.00) $8,604
Vista Unified (21,558.60) $8,522
Lake Elsinore Unified (20,835.00) $7,574
Downey Unified (21,745.10) $7,572
William S. Hart Union High (21,980.20) $7,507
Murrieta Valley Unified (20,942.30) $7,367
Tustin Unified (21,589.20) $7,096
Spending per student in adjacent districts
Santa Ana Unified $8,396
Irvine Unified $7,606
Orange Unified $7,208
Tustin Unified $7,096

850 API score in 2010

Districts with similar API scores in 2010
Mountain View-Los Altos Union High 852
Guerneville Elementary 851
Pacific Elementary 850
Tustin Unified 850
Mother Lode Union Elementary 849
Vallecito Union Elementary 849
Knightsen Elementary 848
API scores in 2010
in districts with similar attendance
Tustin Unified (21,589.20) 850
Murrieta Valley Unified (20,942.30) 837
William S. Hart Union High (21,980.20) 824
Lake Elsinore Unified (20,835.00) 814
Vista Unified (21,558.60) 785
Downey Unified (21,745.10) 771
Antelope Valley Union High (21,628.00) 671
API scores in 2010 in adjacent districts
Irvine Unified 916
Tustin Unified 850
Orange Unified 806
Santa Ana Unified 723
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