After reading Sandy Banks' column, I decided to do a little fact checking for elementary through secondary school funding. I went to the most recent U.S. Census report, which has data from 2009.
Here is what I found:
California spends about $61 billion a year, the most of any state.
Per-pupil spending is $9,657; the U.S. average is $10,499.
California is ranked 30th of the 50 states in per-student spending.
Only when spending is adjusted for regional cost does the "spending" per pupil drop to $8,667. California per-pupil spending is still $9,657 and is still about average, especially when considering economies of scale.