FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 19, 2015
CONTACT: Bill Bird @ 916-651-4029
Fiscal Committee Approves Education Reform Measures
Huff Legislation to Help Both Students and Schools
SACRAMENTO: Two important education reform measures authored by Senate Minority Leader Bob Huff (R-San Dimas) received unanimous support during a vote of the Assembly Appropriations Committee today and now face a full Assembly Floor vote. 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).
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.
“By allowing parents to choose, the district of choice program promotes first-rate performance and innovation in our schools,” Senator Huff testified during the hearing. “The very possibility of a parent removing their child from a certain school puts healthy pressure on school districts to perform their best to attract and retain students. Simply put, District of Choice rewards policies that work and discourage policies that don’t.”
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.
“Close to 50 percent of California’s schools face the problem of declining enrollment,” said Senator Huff. “This problem results in a loss of funding. That’s less money to pay for quality teachers and important school programs. We must give parents and students more reasons and opportunities to stay in quality public schools.”
SB 597 has earned the support of the Alexander Valley Union School District, Ed Voice, Glendora Unified School District, Inyo County Superintendent of Schools, Mendocino Unified School District, Riverside Unified School District, Round Valley Joint Elementary School, Round Valley Parent Teacher Organization, Round Valley School Step Foundation, San Rafael City Schools, Small School Districts Association, Vista Del Mar Union School District and the Walnut Valley Unified School District.
The Assembly Appropriations 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.
Under LCFF school districts have the authority to direct funding to programs that are most vital to student success.
“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 Minority Leader and represents the 29th Senate District covering portions of Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino Counties. Follow Senator Huff on Twitter at @bobhuff99.