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SB 597 Extends California’s Legendary District of Choice Program

SACRAMENTO: Legislation designed to extend and build upon California’s School District of Choice program is now law in California after receiving the Governor’s signature. SB 597, authored by Senator Bob Huff (R-San Dimas), gives extended life to a program that has opened new doors for countless students by providing opportunities for them to attend public schools that meet their specific needs.

“Our children deserve the highest quality education we can give them, and I’m pleased that the Governor agrees with this concept,” said Senator Huff. “The District of Choice program empowers parents to make the best decision for their children, not school administrators.”

The 22-year old School District of Choice program fosters public school choice by allowing parents to transfer their children to participating school districts without a transfer agreement.

The 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.

“This is really good news for students and their families who choose to come to Glendora and take advantage of all our schools have to offer through District of Choice,” said Robert Voors, Superintendent of the Glendora Unified School District. “Our students in this program are enjoying great success!”

Without the Governor’s signature on SB 597, the School District of Choice program would have ended in July of next year. Senator Huff’s legislation will keep the program running until July, 2017.

“There are many school districts in California that enroll a great number of students from outside of their district boundaries under this program,” said Senator Huff. “Ending the District of Choice program right now could, and mostly likely would, send several small districts into a chaotic, death spiral of declining enrollment.”

Senator Huff is the former Vice Chair of the Senate Education Committee and represents the 29th Senate District covering portions of Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino Counties. Follow Senator Huff on Twitter at @bobhuff99.

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