California school district spending and test scores

San Marcos 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 Marcos Unified compare to other California districts?

Spending per student

$7,493   Median: $8,234

API score in 2010

853   Median: 783

$7,493 spent per student ($129.6 million total expenditures)

Districts with similar spending per student
Torrance Unified $7,505
Fairfield-Suisun Unified $7,496
Arvin Union Elementary $7,495
San Marcos Unified $7,493
Nuview Union Elementary $7,488
Gratton Elementary $7,472
Saddleback Valley Unified $7,472
Spending per student
in districts with similar attendance
Pajaro Valley Unified (16,837.60) $9,271
Coachella Valley Unified (17,386.50) $8,767
Escondido Union Elementary (17,266.60) $7,938
Ventura Unified (16,690.20) $7,855
Cupertino Union Elementary (17,643.90) $7,590
San Marcos Unified (17,291.00) $7,493
Madera Unified (17,755.40) $7,442
Spending per student in adjacent districts
Rancho Santa Fe Elementary $14,287
Fallbrook Union High $10,068
Encinitas Union Elementary $8,979
Vista Unified $8,522
Escondido Union High $8,517
San Dieguito Union High $8,108
Escondido Union Elementary $7,938
Show more adjacent districts

853 API score in 2010

Districts with similar API scores in 2010
Bonsall Union Elementary 853
Torrance Unified 853
Browns Elementary 853
San Marcos Unified 853
Indian Springs Elementary 852
Mountain View-Los Altos Union High 852
Hickman Community Charter 852
API scores in 2010
in districts with similar attendance
Cupertino Union Elementary (17,643.90) 951
San Marcos Unified (17,291.00) 853
Ventura Unified (16,690.20) 800
Escondido Union Elementary (17,266.60) 735
Madera Unified (17,755.40) 733
Pajaro Valley Unified (16,837.60) 713
Coachella Valley Unified (17,386.50) 685
API scores in 2010 in adjacent districts
Rancho Santa Fe Elementary 946
Encinitas Union Elementary 905
San Dieguito Union High 877
Carlsbad Unified 859
Bonsall Union Elementary 853
San Marcos Unified 853
Vista Unified 785
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