California school district spending and test scores

Los Altos 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 Los Altos Elementary compare to other California districts?

Spending per student

$9,549   Median: $8,234

API score in 2010

965   Median: 783

$9,549 spent per student ($40.2 million total expenditures)

Districts with similar spending per student
Garfield Elementary $9,559
Del Mar Union Elementary $9,552
McCloud Union Elementary $9,549
Los Altos Elementary $9,549
Santa Ynez Valley Union High $9,547
Cuddeback Union Elementary $9,532
Big Lagoon Union Elementary $9,526
Spending per student
in districts with similar attendance
Delano Joint Union High (4,222.10) $9,667
Los Altos Elementary (4,207.40) $9,549
Valley Center-Pauma Unified (4,082.80) $8,850
Placer Union High (4,224.00) $7,903
Soledad Unified (4,213.70) $7,807
South Pasadena Unified (4,186.30) $7,647
Orcutt Union Elementary (4,165.40) $6,702
Spending per student in adjacent districts
Portola Valley Elementary $16,981
Palo Alto Unified $13,376
Sequoia Union High $12,273
La Honda-Pescadero Unified $10,941
Los Altos Elementary $9,549
Sunnyvale Elementary $9,341
Fremont Union High $9,172
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965 API score in 2010

Districts with similar API scores in 2010
Hillsborough City Elementary 967
Los Altos Elementary 965
Saratoga Union Elementary 965
Las Lomitas Elementary 963
Lakeside Joint Elementary 963
Del Mar Union Elementary 961
Orinda Union Elementary 954
API scores in 2010
in districts with similar attendance
Los Altos Elementary (4,207.40) 965
South Pasadena Unified (4,186.30) 911
Orcutt Union Elementary (4,165.40) 820
Valley Center-Pauma Unified (4,082.80) 800
Placer Union High (4,224.00) 797
Delano Joint Union High (4,222.10) 748
Soledad Unified (4,213.70) 696
API scores in 2010 in adjacent districts
Los Altos Elementary 965
Cupertino Union Elementary 951
Portola Valley Elementary 949
Palo Alto Unified 925
Fremont Union High 875
Mountain View-Whisman Elementary 826
Sunnyvale Elementary 796
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