A new CBP School Finance Facts compares California student demographics, education spending, and school staffing to that in the rest of the US, and finds that the state's investment in K-12 schools lags the nation even as California faces unique challenges in educating its 6.2 million public school students. Rising to the Challenge: Why Greater Investment in K-12 Education Matters for California's Students shows that:
- California invests less in K-12 education than other states, despite having greater financial resources. California's per capita income ($47,115) was higher than for the rest of the US ($43,905) in 2012-13. This same year, the rest of the nation invested 4.04 percent of total personal income in K-12 education, a level more than one-fourth (27 percent) higher than the 3.18 percent in California.
- California's 1.3 million English learners (ELs) nearly equal the combined number of ELs in the next four most populous states -- Texas, New York, Florida, and Illinois -- even though these four states together have roughly twice as many students as California.
- More than half (53.0 percent) of California's students come from low-income families, a larger share than in the rest of the US (46.8 percent). Among the five most populous states, only Florida has a higher percentage of economically disadvantaged students (56.0 percent) than California.
- California's schools have more students per staff than schools in the rest of the US, ranking last or close to the bottom by a number of key K-12 student-to-staff ratios. California ranks 51st nationally (including all states and DC) in students per teacher, 51st in students per guidance counselor, 51st in students per librarian, and 48th in students per administrator.
Read Rising to the Challenge.