California school district spending and test scores

Vacaville 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 Vacaville Unified compare to other California districts?

Spending per student

$6,876   Median: $8,234

API score in 2010

769   Median: 783

$6,876 spent per student ($78.3 million total expenditures)

Districts with similar spending per student
Scotts Valley Unified $6,880
Rocklin Unified $6,879
Los Alamitos Unified $6,878
Vacaville Unified $6,876
Adelanto Elementary $6,874
Weaver Union Elementary $6,870
Santa Rita Union Elementary $6,870
Spending per student
in districts with similar attendance
Palo Alto Unified (11,252.30) $13,376
Chico Unified (11,633.00) $8,101
Oak Grove Elementary (11,196.30) $7,826
Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified (11,528.30) $7,812
Las Virgenes Unified (11,207.30) $7,742
Upland Unified (11,487.40) $7,224
Vacaville Unified (11,390.90) $6,876
Spending per student in adjacent districts
Winters Joint Unified $8,198
Napa Valley Unified $8,076
Fairfield-Suisun Unified $7,496
Travis Unified $7,409
Vacaville Unified $6,876
Dixon Unified $6,287

769 API score in 2010

Districts with similar API scores in 2010
Covina-Valley Unified 769
Southern Humboldt Joint Unified 769
Tres Pinos Union Elementary 769
Vacaville Unified 769
Blue Lake Union Elementary 768
Fort Ross Elementary 767
Rim of The World Unified 767
API scores in 2010
in districts with similar attendance
Palo Alto Unified (11,252.30) 925
Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified (11,528.30) 912
Las Virgenes Unified (11,207.30) 882
Upland Unified (11,487.40) 807
Oak Grove Elementary (11,196.30) 806
Chico Unified (11,633.00) 789
Vacaville Unified (11,390.90) 769
API scores in 2010 in adjacent districts
Travis Unified 816
Napa Valley Unified 776
Vacaville Unified 769
Winters Joint Unified 759
Dixon Unified 751
Fairfield-Suisun Unified 750
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