In fiscal year 2009, Thatcher Unified School District compared favorably to its peer districts in both student achievement and operational efficiencies. The District's student AIMS scores and high school graduation rate were much higher than the peer districts' and the state averages. The District's per-pupil spending of $6,623 was $2,439 less per pupil than its peer districts' and one of the lowest per-pupil spending amounts in the State. This is because the District received less money from voter-approved budget overrides, state funding, and federal programs. The District's per-pupil administration costs were 25 percent lower than peer districts' because it employed fewer administrative support staff and paid lower salaries to some administrators. Further, the business office appeared well managed with well-trained staff and appropriate internal controls in place. The District also had much lower plant operations costs both per student and per square foot. Thatcher USD was able to achieve these lower costs primarily because it used irrigation water for its fields, closely monitored energy usage, and belonged to a three-county consortium that provided low-cost Internet access. The District's transportation program was reasonably efficient, but it had to subsidize the program because it drove a large number of activity miles, such as for athletics and field trips, which were not fully covered under the State's transportation funding formula. Despite lower food service costs per pupil, the District's cost per meal was 9 percent higher than peer districts', and it needs to begin tracking and monitoring food inventory and meal production to better manage the program. The District should also develop a formal IT disaster recovery plan and test it periodically.