FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 15, 2013
CONTACT: Bill Bird, (916) 651-4029
Huff Education Reform Measure Gains Crucial Allies
Michelle Rhee and Local Latino Organization Support Public School Choice Legislation
SACRAMENTO: Education reform legislation authored by Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar) has drawn the backing of two important allies who support the changes outlined in SB 451. The measure will expand public school choice to all students – regardless of socioeconomic or ethnic background – and empower parents by allowing them to choose which public school serves their children best.
The reforms authored by Senator Huff have gained the support of StudentsFirst, a national movement founded by Michelle Rhee to defend the interests of children in public education and pursue transformative reform, so that America has the best education system in the world. SB 451 has also received the backing of Los 32 por Mexico, an Orange County organization that seeks to preserve Mexican traditions and support students of Latino descent.
“My thanks to both organizations for their public support as we move forward with this important reform effort in the State Legislature,” said Senator Huff. “Changing the status quo can be an uphill battle for many people involved with education, but with this kind of support we can achieve the reforms that parents desire. California needs a school system that provides fair treatment to all – not just those blessed with living in certain zip codes.”
Senator Huff introduced his Public School Choice reform bill because current law assigns students to schools based on their zip-code, and as a result California does not have an equal and fair distribution of education benefits. Opportunities for a quality education exist only for those who have the financial means to acquire it by moving to a neighborhood with high performing public schools or paying for a private education.
“This means low-income and middle-class families are put at a disadvantage if their assigned school does not meet their academic needs,” said Senator Huff. “These families are literally trapped in failing schools and lose opportunities for college and career readiness in addition to adequate lifetime earnings.”
SB 451 will allow all students to transfer to a high performing public school, ensuring equal access to a quality public education. By giving students this opportunity, children will receive a public education based on their academic needs instead of their parents’ income or zip-code.
Public School Choice will also empower parents to have an impactful voice in their schools. Since funding is based on student attendance, districts will be compelled to cater to parents’ expectations knowing families have the right to exit their schools.
Other organizations who have expressed support for the reforms authored by Senator Huff include the Hispanic Council for Reform and Educational Options (HCREO), Parents Advocate League, California Charter School Association (CCSA), Democrats for Education Reform (DFER) and the American Center for School Choice.
SB 451 faces its first policy test in the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday, April 17th.
Senator Huff serves as the Senate Republican Leader and represents the 29th Senate District covering portions of Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino Counties. Follow Senator Huff on Twitter at @bobhuff99.