How does overall California school funding compare to funding across the country?

  • Per student spending varies widely across states. The last time California was near the top of the list in per student spending was 1965, when it ranked 5th. In 1978 – the year Prop 13 passed –California was 14th out of 50. The next year, the state fell to 22nd place. In 1988, California fell below the national average for the first time and never recovered. The state now ranks 35th. This table for the Census Bureau details per-student spending in each state and the average for the US. California is below the US average of $11,009 at an average per student spending of $9,595--about the same amount of money as the state of Arkansas. At around $14,000 in per student spending, Menlo Park is at approximately the 60th percentile in per student spending in the country, yet Menlo Park and Atherton are among the most expensive zip codes to operate schools in the country.