FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 1, 2015
CONTACT: Bill Bird @ 916-651-4029
Assembly Committee Approves Huff Education Reform Measures
Legislation to Help Both Students and Schools
SACRAMENTO: Two education measures authored by Senate Minority Leader Bob Huff (R-San Dimas) received unanimous support during a vote of the Assembly Education Committee today and next face the Assembly Appropriations Committee. The measures extend the School District of Choice program and remove antiquated laws from the California Education Code that were rendered obsolete due to the adoption of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF).
“Our children deserve the highest quality education we can give them,” said Senator Huff. “These modest measures help deliver on this promise. These bills provide better choices for parents and students no matter where they live and ensure local control and less confusion in our schools.”
SB 597 extends the 22-year running School District of Choice program, which fosters public school choice by allowing parents to transfer their children to participating school districts without a transfer agreement.
California’s District of Choice program gives both parents and students the right to decide which school is best for them and their academic needs (especially helping those who want to get out of underperforming school districts). It also compels many schools and districts to regroup and make positive changes to ensure that both students and their parents desire to remain within the district they reside.
Without the enactment of SB 597, the School District of Choice program will end in July of next year. Senator Huff’s legislation will keep the program running until July, 2017.
“Does the District of Choice Program work,” questioned Senator Huff? “Look no further than the Walnut Valley Unified School District (WVUSD) for that answer. WVUSD firmly embraces the ideals spelled out in District of Choice and was just recently recognized as the number one school district in all of Southern California. According to the Best School Districts for Your Buck report just issued by the financial advisory organization NerdWallet, WVUSD has one of Southern California’s strongest graduation rates – 98.30 percent as well as a high SAT average of 1722.”
“I congratulate the WVUSD on this accomplishment and feel that the District of Choice program has contributed to this success,” continued Senator Huff. “The fact that students who live outside the district have access to the top rated school in Southern California, because they have lowered their gates to allow access to all ethnic and income levels, is a reflection of the tremendous work they do.”
The Assembly Education Committee also voted unanimously to approve another Huff bill, SB 416, which amends the CA Education Code to remove sections that were dropped during adoption of the LCFF through the state budget process. It is sponsored by the California School Boards Association.
“This measure closes the chapter on the old ‘strings-attached’ funding mechanism,” said Senator Huff. “It’s critical that these antiquated laws are removed from the California Education Code, making the code easier for schools to understand.”
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.