How Do We Compare?


LASD has a preponderance of highly capable and motivated students when compared to our neighboring districts.  Yet LASD lacks some valuable programs found in nearby districts:

  • Information on Alternative Program Participation is shown in these links: Cupertino   Mountain View Whisman    Palo Alto.   This Ed-data website can be navigated to show grade level configurations showing 6th grade to be part of Middle Schools where students change teachers depending on classes versus LASD's self-contained 6th grade classroom approach.
  • You can see 8th Grade (and High School)  state testing results for Geometry at  Cupertino Mountain View Whisman  Palo Alto .  You can also see the results for Algebra II taken in 9th grade by Mountain View Whisman students after they move on to MVLA.  (Even the brightest graduates of LASD generally must wait until 10th grade to take Algebra II at MVLA.)
  • Among the alternative choice programs in all 3 of the other districts are foreign language programs for K-5, with Mandarin in Cupertino, Spanish in Mountain View Whisman, and both available in Palo Alto.
  • For more information, see "PROGRAM COMPARISONS" below.
8th Grade Geometry: Number of Students and Percentage of Student Population by School District*


Number of Students

How many more compared to LASD?  (multiple)

Mountain View Whisman 105 24.3% 60.8 x
Cupertino Union 429 21.8% 54.5 x
Palo Alto Unified 51 5.7% 14.3 x
LASD 2 0.4%

*Based on 2013 Star Testing:


LASD Taxpayers Pay 1.3 to 10 Times More in Parcel Taxes than Neighboring  Districts
  • 26% more than Palo Alto Unified
  • 36% more than Portola Valley
  • 215% more than Cupertino Union
  • about the same as Menlo Park City's 5 parcel taxes combined (the graphic above inadvertently only calculated based on the most recent parcel tax to be added)
  • 254% more than Las Lomitas
  • 271% more than Union Elementary
  • 295% more than Woodside
  • 521% more than Mountain View Whisman
  • 1060% more than Saratoga Union
  • 1339% more than Sunnyvale Elementary

Nearby Districts' Parcel Taxes

To access a detailed history about the parcel (and bond) taxes of various school districts visit this ed-data web link.  Simply adjust the district in the selection window, or change the county in that selection window.

Historical information on recent elections is also available for the districts below on various web sites:

(*)  annual inflation adjustments apply



Out of 592 California districts with 900 or more students enrolled, our local K-8 district is ranked #57 and our high school district is ranked #11.  This is 2012-2013 data, and amounts are per ADA.  Note that some unusual school districts have vastly more enrollment than they do ADA and this inflates their income per ADA.  Also note that Unified refers to a K-12 district.  Operating high school is generally more costly than operating K-8, which is reflected in the numbers for High School and Unified school districts.


For comparison, we can look at programs offered in other districts within Santa Clara County.  Some of the other elementary school (K-8) districts are listed in the table below, which shows some of their characteristics for reference. (Click table to view better.)

Palo Alto Unified School District (PAUSD)

PAUSD is our neighbor to the north.  It is a unified school district and so operates high school as well. It has about 12,000 students overall, and 8500 are in grades K-8. Spending is $14,000 per ADA, which is the highest in the state for similar size unified school districts.  (Spending is typically higher for grades 9-12 than for K-8.  For example, Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District also spends $14,000 per ADA but only covers grades 9-12.  A similar breakdown would have Palo Alto spending $11,800 K-8 and $15,400 9-12.)   PAUSD operates 13 elementary and 3 middle schools.

Within the district are the following choice programs, available district-wide via lottery or random selection:
  • a K-5 program which strives to increase the depth of student learning and the complexity of their thinking.  (Hoover Elementary, API 987, #19 in state)
  • a K-5 program with an open school philosophy focusing on developmental education. (Ohlone Elementary School)
  • a two-way Mandarin Immersion program (operated at Ohlone Elementary, API 946)
  • a two-way Spanish Immersion program (operated at Escondido Elementary)
  • a Young Fives program designed for children who are age eligible for kindergarten but are not yet ready.   They exhibit signs of immaturity or youngness that may prevent them from succeeding.  Parents apply and children are selected based on observational screening.
  • a 6-8 program that emphasizes Direct Instruction to acquire knowledge and academic skills.  (operated at Terman Intermediate)
  • a 6-8 program with an interdisciplinary Connections approach to teaching core subjects. (operated at Jane Lathrop Stanford Intermediate)
  • a 6-8 Spanish Immersion program as a continuation of the elementary dual immersion program.  (operated at David Starr Jordan Intermediate)

More Information on PAUSD Choice Programs

Cupertino Union School District (CUSD)

About a quarter of the residents of Los Altos are served by this district. CUSD operates Montclaire Elementary School which is located in the Woodland Acres neighborhood and serves other areas of Los Altos as well.  Grades 6-8 attend Cupertino Middle School, also in CUSD.  This is a high achieving school district which overall operates 20 elementary schools and 5 middle schools serving most of Cupertino and parts of Los Altos, San Jose, Santa Clara and Sunnyvale . It has a budget of about $150 Million for 19,000 students or about $7600 per ADA. Spending per ADA in Cupertino Union is 72% of that in LASD.  It has a population similar in may ways to LASD.  Like LASD, it devotes a portion of its general fund revenues to complete funding for Special Education where state and Federal funding falls short.  LASD and Cupertino devote 18.0% and 16.7% of expenditures to Special Education, respectively.   Of the total Special Education spending, LASD receives 41% and Cupertino 52% from designated Special Education funding, making up the remainder from general fund revenues.  CUSD operates 9 of the Top 75 California schools ranked by API score.

Within CUSD  are four choice program options available to students on an application basis. A brief summary of these options:

  •  an innovative two-way Mandarin Immersion program which operates across both an elementary school and a middle school.  This is not just language instruction but rather features native speakers of both Mandarin and English learning both languages in the normal teaching and learning of the standard academic classes.
  •  a K-8 program with individual pacing.  The program is designed to encourage creativity and to allow students to cover extra material if they are capable.  In this program, API scores are not provided because the state standardized testing is not required.  (Christa McAuliffe School)
  • a K-6 program with an integrated approach.  Students are put in mixed grade villages where younger kids learn from older ones, and the older ones develop leadership skills.  This program has a technology partnership with Apple and operates on its own calendar, different from the district. (Murdock-Portal Elementary School, API 995, #6 in State).
  • a K-5 program with an intense academic plus focus involving parent participation in the school.  Aims to development good work habits and responsibility. (William Faria Elementary School, API 999, #1 in State).

Mountain View Whisman School District (MVWSD)

MVWSD is our partner feeder district for the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District and serves a large part of Mountain View and a small part of Sunnyvale.  It operates 8 elementary schools and 2 middle schools plus an independent study program.  One elementary school site is used entirely for special programs for Special Education and Preschool.  Its budget is about $45 Million for about 5000 students.  The population differs significantly from LASD in that it is about 50% low socioeconomic status students and also about 50% English language learners. 

Within MVWSD are the following choice programs:
  • an independent study program with about 15 participants and an API of 987.
  • free or low cost preschool offered by application to residents of zip codes 94040 and 94043, with a special preference for low income students.  This program is operated at 3 sites within the district.
  • a two-way Spanish immersion program operated by application district-wide but housed within the Mariano Castro Campus.  As in Cupertino, this program has native speakers of both languages learning in both languages.
  • a parent participation program (PACT) operating by application district-wide and located as one of two elementary schools side by side.  The Stevenson Elementary School was reconstituted as the home of the  PACT program in 2009.  This program offers children a developmental education within a compassionate and creative environment. Hands-on experimentation, small group learning, research and guided discovery are all teaching methods used in PACT classrooms.

Top 75 2013 API Scores (State-wide)

  1.     William Faria Elementary (Cupertino CUSD) 999
  2.     Chin (John Yehall) Elementary (San Francisco) 997
  3.     Manchester Gate (Fresno) 996
  4.     North Star Academy (Redwood City) 995
  5.     Mission San Jose Elementary (Fremont) 995
  6.     Murdock-Portal Elementary (San Jose CUSD) 995
  7.     L. P. Collins Elementary (Cupertino CUSD) 993
  8.     Gretchen Whitney High (Cerritos) 993
  9.     Oxford Academy (Cypress) 992
  10.     Nelson S. Dilworth Elementary (San Jose CUSD) 992
  11.     Villa Park Elementary (Villa Park) 992
  12.     John Gomes Elementary (Fremont) 991
  13.     Kipp Empower Academy (Los Angeles) 991
  14.     Oxford Preparatory Academy - South Orange County (Chino) 990
  15.     Jack L. Weaver Elementary (Los Alamitos) 990
  16.     Millikin Elementary (Santa Clara) 989
  17.     Teach Elementary (San Luis Obispo) 989
  18.     Bullis Charter (Los Altos) 989
  19.     Herbert Hoover Elementary (Palo Alto) 987
  20.     Independent Study Program (Mountain View MVWSD) 987
  21.     Ethan B. Allen Elementary (Fountain Valley) 987
  22.     John F. Kennedy Middle (Cupertino CUSD) 986
  23.     James S. Fugman Elementary (Fresno) 986
  24.     William Hopkins Junior High (Fremont) 986
  25.     Windemere Ranch Middle (San Ramon) 986
  26.     Torrey Pines Elementary (La Jolla) 986
  27.     Forest Park Elementary (Fremont) 985
  28.     Tom Matsumoto Elementary (San Jose Evergreen SD) 985
  29.     Oak Avenue Elementary (Los Altos LASD) 984
  30.     Joaquin Miller Middle (San Jose CUSD) 983
  31.     La Jolla Elementary (La Jolla) 982
  32.     R. I. Meyerholz Elementary (San Jose) 982
  33.     Jensen Ranch Elementary (Castro Valley) 982
  34.     Balboa Gifted/High Ability Magnet Elementary (Northridge) 981
  35.     Abraham Lincoln Elementary (Cupertino CUSD) 980
  36.     Sam H. Lawson Middle (Cupertino CUSD) 979
  37.     Garden Gate Elementary (Cupertino CUSD) 979
  38.     Elkhorn (Stockton) 979
  39.     Sleepy Hollow Elementary (Orinda) 979
  40.     Kipp Comienza Community Prep (Huntington Park) 978
  41.     Warm Springs Elementary (Fremont) 978
  42.     Stevenson Ranch Elementary (Stevenson Ranch) 978
  43.     West Hillsborough (Hillsborough) 978
  44.     North Hillsborough (Hillsborough) 978
  45.     Foothills Middle (Arcadia) 977
  46.     Canyon Elementary (Santa Monica) 977
  47.     Huntington Middle (San Marino) 977
  48.     Carmel Valley Middle (San Diego) 976
  49.     Ardis G. Egan Junior High (Los Altos LASD) 976
  50.     Silver Oak Elementary (San Jose Evergreen SD) 976
  51.     William Regnart Elementary (Cupertino CUSD) 976
  52.     Robert C. Fisler Elementary (Fullerton) 975
  53.     Joshua Chadbourne Elementary (Fremont) 975
  54.     Cornerstone At Pedregal Elementary (Rancho Palos Verdes) 974
  55.     Turtle Rock Elementary (Irvine IUSD) 974
  56.     Covington Elementary (Los Altos LASD) 973
  57.     Louis E. Stocklmeir Elementary (Sunnyvale CUSD) 973
  58.     Wonderland Avenue Elementary (Los Angeles) 973
  59.     Frank C. Leal Elementary (Cerritos) 972
  60.     Hidden Hills Elementary (San Ramon) 972
  61.     Stevens Creek Elementary (Cupertino CUSD) 972
  62.     Live Oak Elementary (San Ramon) 972
  63.     Del Sur Elementary (San Diego) 972
  64.     Ocean Air (San Diego) 971
  65.     Pacific Rim Elementary (Carlsbad) 971
  66.     Baldwin Stocker Elementary (Arcadia) 971
  67.     Dingeman Elementary (San Diego) 971
  68.     American Indian Public Charter (Oakland) 971
  69.     La Canada Elementary (La Canada) 970
  70.     Stone Creek Elementary (Irvine IUSD) 970
  71.     Argonaut Elementary (Saratoga Saratoga USD) 970
  72.     Los Coyotes Elementary (La Palma) 970
  73.     C. B. Eaton Elementary (Cupertino CUSD) 969
  74.     Kipp Raices Academy (Los Angeles) 969
  75.     Fred E. Weibel Elementary (Fremont) 969