California school district spending and test scores

Atascadero 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 Atascadero Unified compare to other California districts?

Spending per student

$7,135   Median: $8,234

API score in 2010

804   Median: 783

$7,135 spent per student ($32.8 million total expenditures)

Districts with similar spending per student
Lowell Joint Elementary $7,143
Pacific Union Elementary $7,136
Panama-Buena Vista Union Elementary $7,136
Atascadero Unified $7,135
Glendora Unified $7,130
Tracy Joint Unified $7,129
Placer Hills Union Elementary $7,121
Spending per student
in districts with similar attendance
Tulare Joint Union High (4,635.70) $9,473
Center Joint Unified (4,683.10) $8,045
Union Elementary (4,583.80) $7,271
Tehachapi Unified (4,566.70) $7,233
Atascadero Unified (4,596.50) $7,135
Buckeye Union Elementary (4,571.90) $6,550
Central Elementary (4,681.10) $6,388
Spending per student in adjacent districts
Taft Union High $21,932
Midway Elementary $21,888
Blochman Union Elementary $11,493
Shandon Joint Unified $11,188
Mckittrick Elementary $11,050
Maricopa Unified $10,844
Cayucos Elementary $10,493
Show more adjacent districts

804 API score in 2010

Districts with similar API scores in 2010
Orange Unified 806
Sanger Unified 805
Garvey Elementary 804
Atascadero Unified 804
Blochman Union Elementary 803
Los Molinos Unified 803
Oak Valley Union Elementary 802
API scores in 2010
in districts with similar attendance
Union Elementary (4,583.80) 905
Buckeye Union Elementary (4,571.90) 887
Central Elementary (4,681.10) 821
Atascadero Unified (4,596.50) 804
Center Joint Unified (4,683.10) 786
Tehachapi Unified (4,566.70) 778
Tulare Joint Union High (4,635.70) 718
API scores in 2010 in adjacent districts
Cayucos Elementary 896
Templeton Unified 848
Mckittrick Elementary 846
San Luis Coastal Unified 830
Lucia Mar Unified 815
Atascadero Unified 804
Blochman Union Elementary 803
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