CORRECTED SBE approves Ventura Co. unification plan, sending issue to local voters in November

A previous version of an article and headline published Friday May 25, reported that the unification of the Santa Paula Elementary School District and the Santa Paula Union High School District has been approved. While the California State Board of Education did approve the unification, the plan still must be approved by voters living within the boundaries of the Santa Paula Union High School District in November.

Two Ventura County school districts are one step closer to unifying after receiving California State Board of Education approval as part of the board's May waiver calendar.

Proponents say unifying Santa Paula Union High School District and Santa Paula Elementary School District will create a seamless kindergarten through 12th grade program with aligned texts and classes and coordinated curriculum, professional development, student activities, and parent organizations.

The unification plan was recommended by the Santa Paula Chamber of Commerce Education Committee. The volunteer citizen committee noted Santa Paula needs only one school district office rather than two offices a few blocks apart, one administration, and one school board.

The Santa Paula Elementary School District is a component district of the Santa Paula Union High School District. Three other component districts, Briggs Elementary School District, Mupu Elementary School District, and Santa Clara Elementary School District, will maintain their independent statuses as elementary schools.

After receiving state board approval, the unification proposal will go before by voters living within the boundaries of the Santa Paula Union High School District in November.

The state board, which generally has authority to waive any portion of the California Education Code, tackled a lengthy list of requests at this month's meeting.

Among them was approval of requests by four local educational agencies to waive California Education Code Section 48352(a) and California Code of Regulations Title 5, Section 4701 to remove their schools from the Open Enrollment List of low-achieving schools" for the 2012-13 school year.

California Department of Education staff recommended approving the four waiver applications with conditions, but a motion to that effect failed with only five votes. However, since this was the second meeting the waiver had appeared before the board and since the board failed to act the waiver was deemed approved for one year without conditions.

The board did approve Fremont Unified School District's request to remove Robertson High School from the Open Enrollment List of low-achieving schools. Department staff recommended denying the request, but after a motion to deny the request failed, the board instead approved the waiver.

To get results from the rest of the waiver actions taken, click the link below:

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