California school district spending and test scores

Santee Elementary 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 Santee Elementary compare to other California districts?

Spending per student

$7,281   Median: $8,234

API score in 2010

860   Median: 783

$7,281 spent per student ($45.2 million total expenditures)

Districts with similar spending per student
Fullerton Elementary $7,290
Standard Elementary $7,283
Williams Unified $7,283
Santee Elementary $7,281
Bonita Unified $7,274
Jefferson Elementary $7,273
Hamilton Unified $7,272
Spending per student
in districts with similar attendance
Sunnyvale Elementary (6,118.20) $9,341
Magnolia Elementary (6,093.60) $8,341
Western Placer Unified (6,141.30) $7,914
Whittier City Elementary (6,329.40) $7,625
Santee Elementary (6,209.30) $7,281
Pleasant Valley School (6,231.10) $7,167
Alta Loma Elementary (6,244.80) $7,012
Spending per student in adjacent districts
San Diego Unified $9,855
Lakeside Union Elementary $8,478
La Mesa-Spring Valley $8,069
Cajon Valley Union Elementary $7,888
Santee Elementary $7,281
Poway Unified $7,216

860 API score in 2010

Districts with similar API scores in 2010
Capistrano Unified 862
Dry Creek Joint Elementary 861
Gold Trail Union Elementary 861
Santee Elementary 860
Saddleback Valley Unified 859
Cienega Union Elementary 859
Carlsbad Unified 859
API scores in 2010
in districts with similar attendance
Pleasant Valley School (6,231.10) 863
Santee Elementary (6,209.30) 860
Alta Loma Elementary (6,244.80) 858
Western Placer Unified (6,141.30) 816
Magnolia Elementary (6,093.60) 800
Sunnyvale Elementary (6,118.20) 796
Whittier City Elementary (6,329.40) 755
API scores in 2010 in adjacent districts
Poway Unified 883
Santee Elementary 860
Lakeside Union Elementary 811
La Mesa-Spring Valley 801
Cajon Valley Union Elementary 785
San Diego Unified 785
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