FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 24, 2016
CONTACT: Bill Bird @ 916-651-4029
Diamond Bar Rally Saturday to Focus on Education Choice
Senator Huff, Community Leaders and Parents Rally to Save District of Choice
SACRAMENTO: Senator Bob Huff (R-San Dimas) will attend and is scheduled to speak at a rally planned for this Saturday on behalf of thousands of California students who take advantage of an innovative educational program called District of Choice. The rally will take place Saturday, August 27th, at Maple Hill Park on 1355 S. Maple Hill Road in Diamond Bar. The rally is scheduled to begin at 10:30 AM. Media is invited to attend and cover the event.
Education reformers and parents who embrace the concept of choice in education are expected to attend the rally and show their support for extending the District of Choice program, which Senator Huff had been attempting with Senate Bill 1432. The bill had drawn overwhelming, near unanimous support on the Senate Floor and the Assembly Education Committee earlier this year, before leadership with the Assembly Appropriations Committee committed legislative malpractice by holding the bill in committee earlier this month.
The decision by committee leadership to hold SB 1432 and not allow it to move forward will put an end to the successful 22-year old District of Choice program used by thousands of students by June 30th, 2017. The program fosters public school choice by allowing parents to transfer their children to participating school districts without a transfer agreement. Thousands of children and parents take advantage of choosing the district that fits them best, and numerous school districts across California identify themselves as District of Choice schools.
“This is a catastrophic decision that will shatter the educational hopes and dreams of more than 10,000 current students who take advantage of this program,” said Senator Huff. “The news is even worse for tens of thousands of future students who will be denied the opportunity of receiving the best education we can give them. The shortsighted decision to end District of Choice will be detrimental to their education, their social well-being, and their futures.”
Senator Huff introduced SB 1432 earlier this year following a fact-finding report issued by California’s independent Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO). The report found that District of Choice has been overwhelmingly positive for schools and students, as well as districts that lose or gain students through the transfer process. The LAO report recommended that the program not only be extended, but expanded to include more students.
Thousands of frustrated California parents who jumped at the opportunity to take advantage of choosing the school that best fits the educational needs of their children have flooded State Capitol offices with phone calls, emails, and Facebook posts to protest the possible end of the District of Choice program. Many are expected to attend this Saturday’s rally.
Senator Huff represents the 29th Senate District covering portions of Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino Counties. Follow Senator Huff on Twitter at @bobhuff99.