Difference between revisions of "California school districts"
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: ''See also: [[California school board elections, 2014]]''
: ''See also: [[California school board elections, 2014]]''
===Path to the ballot===
===Path to the ballot===
Revision as of 16:18, 21 March 2014
Number of schools: 10,296
Number of school districts: 1,043
Graduation rate: 78.5%
Per-pupil spending: $8,382
|State school administration|
State Board President: Michael Kirst
State Board Members: 11
|Table of Contents|
School board elections
List of school districts in California
California is home to 1,043 school districts, 10,296 schools and 6,220,993 K-12 students.
State school administrators
- State Superintendent of Public Instruction: Tom Torlakson
- State Board of Education:
- Dr. Michael Kirst, President
- Dr. Ilene Straus, Vice President
- Tom Torlakson, Executive Officer and Secretary
- Sue Burr
- Dr. Carl A. Cohn
- Bruce Holaday
- Dr. Aida Molina
- Patricia Ann Rucker
- Dr. Nicolasa Sandoval
- Trish Boyd Williams
- Josephine Kao, Student Member
Enrollment, academics, and spending
The following table displays the top ten California school districts by total student enrollment, Academic Performance Index (API) scores, and per-pupil spending per Average Daily Attendance (ADA).
|Student enrollment||Academic Performance Index scores||Per-pupil spending per ADA|
|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.) Big Sur Unified|
|4.) Fresno Unified||4.) Saratoga Union Elementary||4.) Mineral|
|5.) Elk Grove Unified||5.) Orinda Union Elementary||5.) Indian Springs Elementary|
|6.) Santa Ana Unified||6.) Santa Clara Elementary||6.) Sausalito Marin City|
|7.) San Francisco Unified||7.) Lakeside Joint||7.) Kashia Elementary|
|8.) San Bernardino City Unified||8.) Las Lomitas Elementary||8.) Belridge|
|9.) Corona-Norco Unified||9.) Moraga||9.) La Grange|
|10.) Capistrano Unified||10.) Reed Union Elementary||10.) Feather Falls Union Elementary|
The following table displays the ethnic distribution of students in California.
|Ethnicity||Number of students||Percentage|
|Hispanic or Latino||3,236,942||52.03%|
|White not Hispanic||1,626,507||26.15%|
|African American not Hispanic||406,089||6.53%|
|Two or More Races Not Hispanic||130,947||2.10%|
|American Indian or Alaska Native||42,539||0.68%|
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:
- 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.
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.
Parent trigger law
On January 7, 2010, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the nation's first "parent trigger" education reform bill into law. 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.
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 to that effect. Up to 75 schools can be the subject of a single parent trigger petition. Parents involved in the parent trigger petition must disclose any financial or organizational support received for their effort, and charter school conversion advocates are forbidden from donating to the effort. 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.
California's parent trigger law has been invoked three times in the Los Angeles Unified School District, once in the Adelanto School District and once in the Compton Unified School District. Efforts to invoke parent trigger laws proved controversial in all three school districts, and both the Adelanto and Compton petitions are being legally challenged by parent trigger law opponents. Beginning in the 2013-14 school year, three public schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District were the first to undergo changes through the use of California's parent trigger law.
California does not impose statewide term limits on school board members. However, terms limits on school board members can still be imposed on the local level.
School board elections
- See also: California school board elections, 2014
A total of 137 California school districts among America's largest school districts by enrollment will hold elections in 2014 for 394 seats. One board election was held in April 2014 and another was held in June 2014, while the remaining 135 districts will hold elections on November 4, 2014.
Here are several quick facts about California's school board elections in 2014:
- The largest school district by enrollment with an election in 2014 is San Diego Unified School District with 131,434 K-12 students.
- The smallest school district by enrollment with an election in 2014 is Western Placer Unified School District with 9,170 K-12 students.
- Kings Canyon Unified School District has the most seats on the ballot in 2014 with five seats up for election.
- Forty-three districts are tied for the fewest seats on the ballot in 2014 with two seats up for election in each district.
The districts listed below served 3,075,427 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.
Path to the ballot
To qualify for the ballot as a school board candidate in California, a person must be:
- 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
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. This form must be filed between 113 and 88 days before the election is held. 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. 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.
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.
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.
- California Secretary of State
- California Department of Education
- California School Boards Association
- California Federation of Teachers
- California Teachers Association
- Ed-Data statistics for California's K-12 schools
- National Center for Education Statistics school district search tool
- 2010-2011 Education Intelligence Agency school district spending statistics for California
- Policy Analysis for California Education
- California Department of Education, "Fingertip Facts on Education in California - CalEdFacts," accessed July 25, 2013
- California Department of Education, "Largest & Smallest Public School Districts - CalEdFacts," accessed July 26, 2013
- Ed-Data, "Compare Districts - Highest/Lowest," accessed July 26, 2013
- California Department of Education - School Fiscal Services Division, "2011–12 Current Expense Per Average Daily Attendance (ADA)," January 29, 2013
- California School Boards Association, "School Board Leadership," accessed July 26, 2013
- California Legislative Information, "SBX5-4 Public schools: Race to the Top.(2009-2010)," accessed July 26, 2013
- National Conference of State Legislatures, "Parent Trigger Laws in the States," accessed July 26, 2013
- Adolfo Guzman-Lopez, 89.3 KPCC Southern California Public Radio, "LA Unified school board member wants changes to California's Parent Trigger Law," June 17, 2013
- Natasha Lindstrom, McClatchy, "California’s ‘parent trigger’ law tested in L.A. school decision," April 9, 2013
- Jennifer Medina, The New York Times, "‘Parent Trigger’ Law to Reform Schools Faces Challenges," September 23, 2011
- Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times, "Mojave Desert parents go back to court over charter school issue," August 28, 2012
- Natasha Lindstrom, Time, "With ‘Parent Trigger’ Laws on the Ropes, Three Overhauled Schools Reopen in Los Angeles," July 26, 2013
- National School Boards Association, "Survey of the State School Boards Associations on Term Limits for Local Board Members," October, 2006
- National Center for Education Statistics, "Elementary/Secondary Information System," accessed March 21, 2014
- Rick Orlov, The Daily News, "New law: Convicted felons can't run for office in California," July 23, 2012
- California Secretary of State, "Randomized Alphabet," accessed July 26, 2013