Take a look at this June 2010 report by the California Budget Project. If you only have a minute, I suggest you zero in on Table 1.
The report ranks California 44th of 50 states in K-12 spending in 2009-10 — $8,826 per student, compared to $11,372 in the rest of the United States. And it found California schools had way fewer administrators, teachers, guidance counselors and librarians per student in 2007-08 than the national average.
There are 809 students for each guidance counselor in California, compared to 440 elsewhere in the United States; 21.3 students per teacher, compared to the national average of 13.8; and 358 students for each administrator, compared to 216.
I stared at the librarian statistic for a second to make sure I was reading it right: 5,038 kids for each librarian in California, compared to 809 in the rest of the country.
I wonder what those ratios are today; the figures in the report are mostly from 2007-08, before the recession hit, before the bulk of the state budget cuts.