Senator Newman’s “District of Choice” Measure Passes out of State Senate

Wednesday, May 31 2017

Sacramento, CA – A bill to allow parents to continue to choose which school district to send their children to has passed the State Senate on a 36-1 vote. Senate Bill (SB) 52 extends the sunset date for the School District of Choice program to July of 2022. The program is set to end in July of this year.

“District of Choice helps to improve the quality of education in all of our local public schools,” said the bill’s author Senator Josh Newman. “This program allows parents to choose the school best suited for their child and in return helps schools be more responsive to students’ unique needs. District of Choice also results in more diverse campuses with more dynamic curriculum.”

Currently, 10,000 students statewide benefit from the District of Choice program, in 47 participating districts. Should District of Choice end in July, as it is scheduled to, thousands of students would abruptly be displaced.

The independent Legislative Analyst’s Office evaluated District of Choice in January of 2016 and found that transfer students tend to move into districts with higher test scores. Districts that see students leaving often respond by improving their curriculum to remain competitive. Participating districts are required to select students at random without consideration of their academic or athletic talent, which allows for more diversity on campuses and better access to educational opportunities.

SB 52 is supported by the Glendora Unified School District, Oak Park Unified School District, Walnut Valley Unified School District and West Covina Unified School District. Senator Josh Newman represents Senate District 29 which includes cities across Orange, Los Angeles, and San Bernardino Counties. The bill now moves to the Assembly