I'm sure there is some tortured table somewhere that places California 46th in the nation in some measure of per-pupil spending. It probably requires applying L.A. or San Jose prices to Redding and Needles. But as luck would have it, we just received a comprehensive report on per-pupil spending from a source I'm sure CTA has heard of - the National Education Association.
NEA's annual Rankings and Estimates report happens to rank states by per-pupil spending, and on page 55 (73 in the PDF file) Table H-11 shows California ranked 26th in per-pupil spending, not 46th. Close enough for government work, as they say.
Is CTA incompetent or dishonest? Or perhaps the NEA is wrong?