Palo Alto Unified School District Ranked No. 1 School District in California: Report

Palo Alto Unified School District (PAUSD) was recently ranked the number one public school district in California by 24/7 Wall St., a Delaware corporation that publishes financial news and commentary. 

PAUSD is located in Santa Clara County and comprises 17 schools and 12, 527 students. The analyst website found that the district spends $16,154 per student and upholds a graduation rate of 100 percent. Additionally, 81.7 percent of adults have a bachelor's degree.

The company evaluated the districts by creating an index based on data in the following categories:

  • Child poverty
  • Spending per student
  • Graduation rate
  • Teachers per student
  • Percentage of adults with a bachelor's degree
  • Preschool enrollment
  • Advanced Placement enrollment

PAUSD’s graduation rate is well-above California public schools’ average, which currently stands at 83 percent, representing the troubling reality of the California public school system.

"California has the largest network of public schools in the country — and also one of the worst performing," 24/7 Wall St. wrote. "Only 29.2% of fourth graders in the state are proficient in math, and only 27.8% are proficient in reading — each the third lowest share of any state."

According to their website, the district attributes much of their success and outstanding reputation to their teachers.

The website states that "The high level of professionalism among teachers in the District is the key to student success. PAUSD offers some of the highest teacher salaries in the Bay Area and is able to hire many of the best and the brightest teachers in the state."

In early 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found higher than normal youth suicide rates in Palo Alto.

The CDC report was requested by county officials in response to growing concern in Palo Alto where five Gunn High School students committed suicide in 2009 and 2010.

If you, or anyone you know is in crisis, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline can be reached online or by calling 1-800-273-8255.

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