California school district spending and test scores

Union 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 Union Elementary compare to other California districts?

Spending per student

$7,271   Median: $8,234

API score in 2010

905   Median: 783

$7,271 spent per student ($33.3 million total expenditures)

Districts with similar spending per student
Jefferson Elementary $7,273
Hamilton Unified $7,272
Brea-Olinda Unified $7,271
Union Elementary $7,271
Hope Elementary $7,264
Berryessa Union Elementary $7,264
Capistrano Unified $7,246
Spending per student
in districts with similar attendance
Bassett Unified (4,563.40) $9,516
Tulare Joint Union High (4,635.70) $9,473
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
Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union High $11,579
Los Gatos Union Elementary $9,311
San Jose Unified $9,224
Cambrian Elementary $8,132
Union Elementary $7,271

905 API score in 2010

Districts with similar API scores in 2010
Millville Elementary 906
Pleasanton Unified 906
Encinitas Union Elementary 905
Union Elementary 905
Belmont-Redwood Shores Elementary 904
Los Alamitos Unified 904
Washington Union Elementary 903
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
Tehachapi Unified (4,566.70) 778
Bassett Unified (4,563.40) 734
Tulare Joint Union High (4,635.70) 718
API scores in 2010 in adjacent districts
Los Gatos Union Elementary 921
Union Elementary 905
Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union High 898
Cambrian Elementary 878
San Jose Unified 792
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