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California ranked 42nd nationally in education

California trails much of the country when it comes to public education, according to Education Week's new state rankings. 

<p>Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images</p>

California trails much of the country when it comes to public education, according to Education Week's new state rankings.

The magazine ranks all 50 states and the District of Columbia based on three categories -- chance for success, K-12 achievement and school finance.

California received a "C-" overall, notching "D+" grades in K-12 achievement and school finance.

The best state for education? Massachusetts with a "B" grade. Nevada, on the other hand, ranked dead last with a "D" grade.

Overall, the national grade was a "C" -- 74.2 out of 100 points.

Robert Oakes, a spokesman with the state Department of Education, notes that the rankings are based on 2014 data, the most recent year available.

"California has a long way to go, we need to make more progress, but we are moving forward," he said.

Oakes cited the state's increase in per-pupil spending, which is now more than $10,000 per student for the current fiscal year.