District of Choice Extension Included in California Budget
SACRAMENTO – Today, Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks) announced that the California state budget includes a five year extension of the District of Choice program through the 2022-2023 fiscal year.
“By extending the District of Choice program we are encouraging choice within our public school system which will provide students with the educational opportunities that best meet their needs,” said Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin. “The changes made to Districts of Choice will improve the accessibility and accountability of the program for all of our state’s students.”
The extension of District of Choice will have a profound effect on roughly 10,000 enrolled students throughout the state and approximately 1,700 students in Ventura County. The program was previously set to expire in July, leaving parents uncertain about where their children would attend school.
Changes to the program seek to increase transparency and access, similar to Assemblymember Irwin’s bill earlier this year. These districts must register with their respective county office of education and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, and be required to submit certain data to be made public. Low-income students will be given priority in lotteries to attend a district of choice, after siblings, and communication materials will be made available in other languages spoken in the district.
In addition, the Legislative Analyst’s Office will submit an evaluation of the program with these changes to the Legislature by January 2021 along with recommendations.
“We have worked hard to make sure this successful program continues and are pleased to see it included in the budget,” said Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin. “Oak Park, as one of several outstanding districts in Ventura County, offers a great education for students and a great option for parents, and we are happy to see its doors stay open.”