California school district spending and test scores

Cottonwood 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 Cottonwood Union Elementary compare to other California districts?

Spending per student

$8,429   Median: $8,234

API score in 2010

816   Median: 783

$8,429 spent per student ($8.2 million total expenditures)

Districts with similar spending per student
Holtville Unified $8,451
New Hope Elementary $8,449
Pacific Union Elementary $8,430
Cottonwood Union Elementary $8,429
Parlier Unified $8,426
Sanger Unified $8,425
Red Bluff Union Elementary $8,423
Spending per student
in districts with similar attendance
Taft Union High (969.80) $21,932
Corning Union High (992.90) $9,001
Cottonwood Union Elementary (967.90) $8,429
Esparto Unified (1,003.60) $8,082
Columbia Elementary (945.20) $7,719
Pixley Union Elementary (956.80) $7,367
Washington Union Elementary (948.20) $6,908
Spending per student in adjacent districts
Plum Valley Elementary $18,476
Igo, Ono, Platina Union Elementary $11,859
Black Butte Union Elementary $10,626
Bend Elementary $9,597
Shasta Union High $8,985
Happy Valley Union Elementary $8,801
Red Bluff Joint Union High $8,739
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816 API score in 2010

Districts with similar API scores in 2010
Antelope Elementary 816
Pond Union Elementary 816
Travis Unified 816
Cottonwood Union Elementary 816
Western Placer Unified 816
Bolinas-Stinson Union Elementary 816
Simi Valley Unified 816
API scores in 2010
in districts with similar attendance
Washington Union Elementary (948.20) 903
Columbia Elementary (945.20) 841
Cottonwood Union Elementary (967.90) 816
Esparto Unified (1,003.60) 736
Taft Union High (969.80) 715
Corning Union High (992.90) 697
Pixley Union Elementary (956.80) 677
API scores in 2010 in adjacent districts
Millville Elementary 906
Evergreen Union Elementary 864
Cottonwood Union Elementary 816
Black Butte Union Elementary 816
Shasta Union High 808
Plum Valley Elementary 793
Igo, Ono, Platina Union Elementary 790
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