SACRAMENTO (KCBS)— California is spending much more on schools since the passage of Governor Brown’s temporary tax increase, Proposition 30, but is likely to slip back toward the bottom once those higher taxes expire.

The state has improved its national ranking immensely. Once at the bottom, California is now at the middle of the pack according to an analysis by the California Budget and Policy Center.

Ranked 29th in the nation, California is now spending $11,200 per child on K through 12 students. That’s a big improvement from being 42nd in the country just two years ago.

However, it’s still almost a thousand dollars ($975 to be exact) less than the average of all the other states and senior policy analyst Jonathan Kaplan notes, Golden State dollars buy less than those others do.

“These numbers are not adjusted for regional cost differences, so it’s sometimes a little difficult to make comparisons between California and other states when cost of living here is substantially greater than in other states. We did increase our ranking substantially. I think we would rank lower if we were adjusting for regional cost differences,” Kaplan said.

California’s spending increase works out to about $1,800 more per child than it did before the passage of Prop 30, but Kaplan says once the higher sales tax expires next year, spending, and the state’s ranking, are likely to decline.

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