FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 1, 2015
CONTACT: Bill Bird @ 916-651-4029
Huff Education Reform Measures Pass Final Test
Legislation Helping Both Students and Schools Gets Unanimous Thumbs Up
SACRAMENTO: Two important education reform measures authored by Senator Bob Huff (R-San Dimas) passed off the Senate Floor today with unanimous support and will be sent to the Governor for his signature consideration. The measures extend the successful and popular 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 encourages 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 parents and students the right to decide which school is best for them and their academic needs,” said Senator Huff. “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. Many school districts across California enroll a good deal of students from outside of their district boundaries under the School District of Choice Program.”
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.
“District of Choice fosters a healthy competition among public schools that results in higher caliber programs and schools,” said Senator Huff. “Ending the District of Choice program now could, and mostly likely would, send several small districts into a chaotic, downward spiral of declining enrollment. This could prove devastating to thousands of students, their parents and various school districts. That’s not what we want for California 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, Los Angeles County Office of Education, 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 second measure to pass off the Senate floor, SB 416, 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 removes many of the code sections that were rendered obsolete by the enactment of LCFF,” said Senator Huff. It clarifies the Education Code, making it easier to understand for school officials and citizens. As policymakers, it is our responsibility not just to enact law, but to ensure it is accessible and understandable to our constituents.”
Senator Huff represents the 29th Senate District covering portions of Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino Counties. Follow Senator Huff on Twitter at @bobhuff99.