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February25

SB 5: MBC bill bound for House floor

Members of a House committee favored fixing the minor boundary change process.

 

House Education committee members voted 13-0 to pass Senate Bill 5, which revises the process of school district boundary change.

 

ASBSD Policy and Legal Services Director Gerry Kaufman testified in favor of SB 5, noting the change would provide “stable school district boundaries” while still providing a “mechanism” minor boundary changes to take place.

 

SB 5 would remove the provision in law that allows for school district boundary changes to be petitioned and put the decision solely in the hands of school districts to initiate the land swap, so long as it is contiguous. Land owners may also petition in the event of the closure of an attendance center or school reorganization.

 

Boards remain accountable for their decision as the bill maintains the public hearing requirement and the final decision would be referable for vote, if petitioned by district patrons.

 

Sen. Deb Peters, the bill’s sponsor, said the provisions in the bill would save dollars for schools in legal fees and “put the focus” back on funding dollars are supposed to do, which is educate kids.

 

“Now we’re talking about…what’s the best thing for schools,” Sen. Peters said.

 

Tri-Valley Superintendent Mike Lodmel noted his school district spent more than $50,000 in legal fees “to defend our school board’s decision.”

 

SB 5 now heads to the House floor for review. For updates, check out the ASBSD Blog, Twitter feed and Bill Tracker page.

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