California school district spending and test scores

San Diego 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 San Diego Unified compare to other California districts?

Spending per student

$9,855   Median: $8,234

API score in 2010

785   Median: 783

$9,855 spent per student ($1.1 billion total expenditures)

Districts with similar spending per student
Westside Elementary $9,920
Cinnabar Elementary $9,898
King City Joint Union High $9,893
San Diego Unified $9,855
Mountain Empire Unified $9,823
Carpinteria Unified $9,787
San Luis Coastal Unified $9,781
Spending per student
in districts with similar attendance
Los Angeles Unified (576,700.40) $10,015
San Diego Unified (110,420.40) $9,855
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
Spending per student in adjacent districts
San Diego Unified $9,855
Del Mar Union Elementary $9,552
Grossmont Union High $9,325
South Bay Union Elementary $9,054
Sweetwater Union High $8,612
Coronado Unified $8,497
Chula Vista Elementary $8,249
Show more adjacent districts

785 API score in 2010

Districts with similar API scores in 2010
Cajon Valley Union Elementary 785
Hawthorne Elementary 785
Cabrillo Unified 785
San Diego Unified 785
Coast Unified 785
Berkeley Unified 785
Vista Unified 785
API scores in 2010
in districts with similar attendance
Corona-Norco Unified (50,531.90) 801
Elk Grove Unified (58,583.70) 791
San Diego Unified (110,420.40) 785
Long Beach Unified (81,638.70) 759
Santa Ana Unified (51,936.20) 723
Fresno Unified (67,444.60) 711
Los Angeles Unified (576,700.40) 709
API scores in 2010 in adjacent districts
Del Mar Union Elementary 961
Coronado Unified 888
Poway Unified 883
San Dieguito Union High 877
Santee Elementary 860
Chula Vista Elementary 848
La Mesa-Spring Valley 801
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