California Is Home to Some of America's Worst Public Schools

California does many things well: We're a leader in fostering technological innovation, we're home to more billionaires than just about any nation on Earth and, of course, we produce movies.

With all that cash flowing through the Golden State, you'd think we could give our kids a decent education. Not so much, apparently.

A new analysis of the nation's public schools, by personal finance site WalletHub, ranks California's system among the worst. 

In fact, a spokeswoman for WalletHub says, "California has the 12th worst school system in America."

The study was based on 17 metrics, including student-to-teacher ratio, dropout rates and average SAT and ACT scores. Compared with the other 49 states and the District of Columbia, California ranked 47th in reading test scores, 46th in math test scores and dead last in student-teacher ratios.

We were 43rd for our high number of disciplinary incidents per 100,000 students, 35th for SAT scores and 33rd for our dropout rate. One of our best showings was in the percentage of licensed or certified public school teachers in the state; by that metric, we're No. 22. Huzzah!

If you want your kids to attend the best public schools across the land, there's no better state than Massachusetts, the study found. New Jersey, Connecticut, Vermont and Wisconsin rounded out the top five, respectively.

California Department of Education officials say we spend 40 percent of our budget on students. If you add in federal funding, that comes to about $76.6 billion each year, they say.

But WalletHub says cash doesn't always equal quality.

"More resources do not always correlate with better academic performance, as our findings demonstrate," the site states. "That isn’t to say that money doesn’t help."

California Is Home to Some of America's Worst Public Schools
WalletHub

Sponsor Content

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send:

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >