California school districts

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K-12 Education in California
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Education facts
State Superintendent: Tom Torlakson
Number of students: 6,287,834[1]
Number of teachers: 268,689
Teacher/pupil ratio: 1:23.4
Number of school districts: 1,187
Number of schools: 10,170
Graduation rate: 78%[2]
Per-pupil spending: $9,139[3]
See also
California Department of EducationCalifornia school districtsList of school districts in CaliforniaCaliforniaSchool boards portal
Policypedia
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Education policy project
Public education in the United States
Public education in California
Glossary of education terms
California is home to 1,187 school districts, 10,170 schools and 6,287,834 K-12 students.[4]

Quick facts

State school administrators

Statistics

The following table displays the state's top 10 school districts by total student enrollment, Academic Performance Index (API) scores and per-pupil spending per Average Daily Attendance (ADA).[5][6][7]

Enrollment, 2011-2012 API scores, 2011-2012 Per-pupil spending per ADA, 2012-2013
1.) Los Angeles Unified 1.) Hillsborough City 1.) New Jerusalem
2.) San Diego Unified 2.) Woodside Elementary 2.) Spencer Valley Elementary
3.) Long Beach Unified 3.) Los Altos 3.) Sausalito Marin City
4.) Fresno Unified 4.) Saratoga Union Elementary 4.) Death Valley Unified
5.) Elk Grove Unified 5.) Orinda Union Elementary 5.) Big Sur Unified
6.) Santa Ana Unified 6.) Santa Clara Elementary 6.) Desert Center Unified
7.) San Francisco Unified 7.) Lakeside Joint 7.) Mineral
8.) San Bernardino City Unified 8.) Las Lomitas Elementary 8.) Ravendale-Termo Elementary
9.) Corona-Norco Unified 9.) Moraga 9.) Belridge
10.) Capistrano Unified 10.) Reed Union Elementary 10.) Silver Fork Elementary

Demographics

See also: Demographic information for all students in all 50 states

The following table displays the ethnic distribution of students in California as reported in the Common Core of Data for 2011-2012.[8]

Demographic information for California's K-12 public school system
Ethnicity Students State Percentage United States Percentage**
American Indian 42,486 0.68% 1.10%
Asian 693,313 11.16% 4.68%
African American 404,412 6.51% 15.68%
Hawaiian Nat./Pacific Isl. Students 35,232 0.57% 0.42%
Hispanic 3,239,296 52.13% 24.37%
White 1,617,931 26.04% 51.21%
Two or more 181,534 2.92% 2.54%
**Note: This is the percentage of all students in the United States that are reported to be of this ethnicity.

In the news

Parent trigger law

On January 7, 2010, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the nation's first "parent trigger" education reform bill into law.[9] A parent trigger allows parents to intervene in the administration of an academically failing school in order to make substantive changes. These changes include the ability to replace school personnel related to the poor academic performance of the school, the ability to convert the school into a charter school and the ability to close the school.[10]

In order to enact a parent trigger, a majority of parents with children enrolled in or about to matriculate into the academically failing school must sign a petition. Up to 75 schools can be the subject of a single parent trigger petition. Parents involved in the petition process must disclose any financial or organizational support received for their effort, and charter school conversion advocates are forbidden from donating.[10] In California, a school must fail to meet Adequate Yearly Progress benchmarks for three consecutive years and also be in "corrective action" status for one year under the No Child Left Behind Act to be at risk of action under a parent trigger.[10]

Parents have invoked the law several times in the Los Angeles Unified School District, once in the Adelanto School District and once in the Compton Unified School District.[11] Efforts to invoke parent trigger laws proved controversial in all three school districts, and both the Adelanto and Compton petitions faced legal challenges from parent trigger law opponents.[12][13][14] In Compton, the parent trigger petitions were ruled invalid on technical grounds by the court.[15] In Adelanto, the petitioners won the court battle in 2012 and turned Desert Trails Elementary School into a charter school, the Desert Trails Preparatory Academy, which opened in 2013. In the Los Angeles Unified School District, several schools have confronted parent trigger petition efforts, including 24th Street Elementary School and Weigand Avenue Elementary School.[16][17][18][19]

State law

Common Core

Common Core, or the Common Core State Standards Initiative, is an American education initiative that outlines quantifiable benchmarks in English and mathematics at each grade level from kindergarten through high school. The California State Board of Education adopted the standards on August 2, 2010. Full implementation is set to be achieved in the 2014-2015 academic year.[20][21]

School board composition

California school board members are generally elected by residents of the school district, although some school board members are appointed to county boards of education and to fill vacancies until the next election for the seat is held. California school board elections typically follow one of these three methods, or a mixture thereof:[22]

  • At-large: All voters residing in the school district may vote for any candidates running, regardless of geographic location.
  • Trustee area: Only voters residing in a specific geographic area within the school district may vote on certain candidates, who must also reside in that specific geographic area.
  • Trustee area at-large: All voters residing in the school district may vote for any candidates running, but candidates must reside in specific geographic areas within the school district.

School boards can consist of three, five or seven members.[22] School board members serve four-year terms, which are often staggered every two years.[22]

District types

California contains multiple types of school districts. The most prevalent are Unified districts (K-12), which contain both elementary and high schools, Elementary districts (K-6 or K-8), which contain only elementary schools and High School districts (9-12), which contain only high schools.

Term limits

California does not impose statewide term limits on school board members.[23] However, terms limits on school board members can still be imposed on the local level.

School board elections

Upcoming elections

See also: California school board elections, 2015

A total of 46 California school districts among America's largest school districts by enrollment will hold elections in 2015 for 120 seats. One board election will be held March 10, 2015, four will be held in April 2015 and another will be held May 19, 2015. The remaining 40 districts will hold elections on November 3, 2015.

Here are several quick facts about California's school board elections in 2015:

  • The largest school district by enrollment with an election in 2015 is Los Angeles Unified School District with 659,639 K-12 students.
  • The smallest school district by enrollment with an election in 2015 is Redwood City Elementary School District with 9,273 students.
  • Seven districts tied for the most seats on the ballot in 2015 with four seats up for election.
  • Twenty-five districts tied for the fewest seats on the ballot in 2015 with two seats up for election in each.

The districts listed below served 1,471,158 K-12 students during the 2010-2011 school year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Click on the district names for more information on the district and its school board elections.

2015 California School Board Elections
District Date Seats up for election Total board seats Student enrollment
Pasadena Unified School District 3/10/2015 3 7 19,802
Glendale Unified School District 4/7/2015 2 5 26,228
Inglewood Unified School District 4/7/2015 4 5 14,279
Burbank Unified School District 4/14/2015 3 5 16,670
Arcadia Unified School District 4/21/2015 2 5 9,719
Los Angeles Unified School District 5/19/2015 4 7 659,639
ABC Unified School District 11/3/2015 4 7 20,688
Antelope Valley Union High School District 11/3/2015 2 5 25,543
Azusa Unified School District 11/3/2015 2 5 10,163
Baldwin Park Unified School District 11/3/2015 3 5 19,238
Bellflower Unified School District 11/3/2015 2 5 13,734
Bonita Unified School District 11/3/2015 3 5 9,870
Ceres Unified School District 11/3/2015 3 7 12,532
Compton Unified School District 11/3/2015 3 7 24,781
Covina-Valley Unified School District 11/3/2015 3 5 13,256
Downey Unified School District 11/3/2015 4 7 22,782
El Monte City School District 11/3/2015 2 5 9,369
El Monte Union High School District 11/3/2015 2 5 10,056
El Rancho Unified School District 11/3/2015 2 5 9,953
Hacienda La Puente Unified School District 11/3/2015 2 5 20,849
Lancaster School District 11/3/2015 2 5 14,430
Las Virgenes Unified School District 11/3/2015 2 5 11,319
Lynwood Unified School District 11/3/2015 3 5 15,515
Menifee Union School District 11/3/2015 2 5 9,784
Modesto City Schools 11/3/2015 3 7 29,989
Montebello Unified School District 11/3/2015 2 5 31,319
Monterey Peninsula Unified School District 11/3/2015 3 7 10,956
Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District 11/3/2015 3 7 20,208
Palmdale School District 11/3/2015 2 5 20,585
Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District 11/3/2015 2 5 11,840
Paramount Unified School District 11/3/2015 2 5 15,929
Pomona Unified School District 11/3/2015 2 5 27,737
Redwood City Elementary School District 11/3/2015 3 5 9,273
Riverside Unified School District 11/3/2015 3 5 42,406
Rowland Unified School District 11/3/2015 2 5 15,738
Salinas Union High School District 11/3/2015 4 7 13,761
San Bernardino City Unified School District 11/3/2015 4 7 54,379
San Mateo-Foster City Elementary School District 11/3/2015 2 5 11,204
Saugus Union School District 11/3/2015 2 5 10,295
Torrance Unified School District 11/3/2015 2 5 24,229
Turlock Unified School District 11/3/2015 4 7 13,735
Ventura Unified School District 11/3/2015 2 5 17,429
Walnut Valley Unified School District 11/3/2015 2 5 14,658
West Covina Unified School District 11/3/2015 3 5 15,302
Whittier Union High School District 11/3/2015 2 5 13,538
William S. Hart Union High School District 11/3/2015 2 5 26,449

Path to the ballot

To qualify for the ballot as a school board candidate in California, a person must be:[22]

  • 18 years of age or older
  • A citizen of California
  • A resident of the school district
  • A registered voter in California
  • Not a current employee of the school district
  • Not disqualified by the California state constitution or laws from holding civil office

On July 23, 2012, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 4210 into law, which banned convicted felons from running for office in California.[24]

The process of running for office as a school board candidate begins with filing a "declaration of candidacy" form at the local county elections office.[22] This form must be filed between 113 and 88 days before the election is held.[22] Candidates may also be required to submit a filing fee to the county elections office or a petition with nominating signatures in order to be put on the ballot, but these rules vary from school district to school district and are not uniform across California.[22] On the ballot, candidates are listed using a randomized alphabetical order, due to state courts ruling that standard alphabetical or incumbent-first ordering are unconstitutional.[25]

California distributes a voter's guide to all registered voters in the school district prior to the election, and candidates may include a candidate statement in this voter's guide. This usually requires candidates to pay another fee to the county elections office, but some school districts will assume the cost of this candidate statement filing fee for all school board candidates in the district.[22]

Campaign finance

California requires school board candidates who spend or receive more than $1,000 for their campaign to file a campaign finance report detailing their expenditures, loan repayments, contributions and loans received to their local county elections office.[22]

See also

External links

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Suggest a link

References

  1. National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12," accessed March 18, 2014
  2. ED Data Express, "State Tables Report," accessed March 17, 2014 The site includes this disclaimer: "States converted to an adjusted cohort graduation rate [starting in the 2010-2011 school year], which may or may not be the same as the calculation they used in prior years. Due to the potential differences, caution should be used when comparing graduation rates across states."
  3. United States Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011," accessed March 18, 2014
  4. National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12," accessed March 18, 2014
  5. California Department of Education, "Largest & Smallest Public School Districts - CalEdFacts," accessed July 26, 2013
  6. Ed-Data, "Compare Districts - Highest/Lowest," accessed July 26, 2013
  7. California Department of Education - School Fiscal Services Division, "2011–12 Current Expense Per Average Daily Attendance (ADA)," January 29, 2013
  8. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey, 2011-2012," accessed May 7, 2014
  9. California Legislative Information, "SBX5-4 Public schools: Race to the Top.(2009-2010)," accessed July 26, 2013
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 National Conference of State Legislatures, "Parent Trigger Laws in the States," accessed July 26, 2013
  11. 89.3 KPCC Southern California Public Radio, "LA Unified school board member wants changes to California's Parent Trigger Law," June 17, 2013
  12. McClatchy, "California’s ‘parent trigger’ law tested in L.A. school decision," April 9, 2013
  13. The New York Times, "‘Parent Trigger’ Law to Reform Schools Faces Challenges," September 23, 2011
  14. Los Angeles Times, "Mojave Desert parents go back to court over charter school issue," August 28, 2012
  15. The Los Angeles Times, "Lessons of 'parent trigger'," November 14, 2011
  16. Time, "With ‘Parent Trigger’ Laws on the Ropes, Three Overhauled Schools Reopen in Los Angeles," July 26, 2013
  17. U.S. News, "Los Angeles 'Parent Trigger' School Sets Precedent With Public-Charter Hybrid," August 13, 2013
  18. City Journal, "The “Trigger” that Wasn’t Pulled," June 13, 2014
  19. Reason.com, "California’s Parent Trigger Law Is (Finally) Helping Improve Public Schools," June 7, 2014
  20. Common Core State Standards Initiative, "Core Standards in your State,” accessed June 12, 2014
  21. California Department of Education, "Common Core State Standards," accessed June 13, 2014
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 22.5 22.6 22.7 22.8 California School Boards Association, "School Board Leadership," accessed July 26, 2013
  23. National School Boards Association, "Survey of the State School Boards Associations on Term Limits for Local Board Members," accessed July 8, 2014
  24. The Daily News, "New law: Convicted felons can't run for office in California," July 23, 2012
  25. California Secretary of State, "Randomized Alphabet," accessed July 26, 2013