DOC students to remain in WVUSD

Angela Yang, Asst. News Editor

As the two bills aimed to save District of Choice wind their way through the Appropriations Committee, students currently enrolled under DOC can rest assured knowing they will stay in the district through the 2017-2018 school year regardless of whether the bills pass or not, according to a Walnut Valley Unified School District official.

Currently, Sen. Josh Newman’s SB52 and Assemblymembers Patrick O’Donnell and Jacqui Irwin’s AB185 sit in the Suspense File, a holding place for bills that would have a financial impact on the state, waiting to be voted on by the Chairs of the Assembly and Senate Appropriations Committees.

“As of right now, WVUSD will continue to work with our lobbyist and prominent members of the State Assembly and Senate to get a Bill passed,” WVUSD Assistant Superintendent of Education Services Jeff Jordan said via email. “All current DOC students will attend WVUSD schools for 2017/2018.”

Jordan stresses the need for parents and students to contact state legislators and voice their support for the bills.

Strong support for the DOC program can help the bills exit  the Suspense File and continue the process to approval.

DOC advocator Teruni Evans has been one of the parents leading the effort to save the program.

“We’ve been sending emails to Josh Newman to show support for his bill and for him,” Evans said.

Besides Newman, parents have also been in contact with California State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and State Sen. Kevin de Leon to support for DOC.

They have attempted to contact Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez as well, “trying to ask her to understand [the parents’] point,” according to Evans, but have not managed to obtain a response.

The original DOC bill died in Gonzalez’ Appropriations Committee while undergoing renewal last year, sparking the current fight to continue the program.

The two new bills must also pass through the same committee.

According to Evans, parents may organize a physical call to action and take their protest up to Sacramento.

Any plans to do so will be made known in a week.

Evans encourages all students who would like to show their support to send videos sharing their experiences on how DOC has affected them or their peers to her email, [email protected].

These testimonials will be used in the effort to help persuade legislators to save the program.

“The district continues to fight for DOC students and their families. We believe that a parent should have the right to determine where they want their child to be educated. Parents and students have been great writing letters to state legislators voicing their support for DOC. We are in this fight together,” Jordan said. “Now is the time to write, email, or fax state legislators, so they will support school choice.”