Pomona files lawsuit over DOC

Pauline Villegas, A&E Editor

In the most recent turn of the ongoing storyline of District of Choice, the Pomona Unified School District is suing the Walnut Valley Unified School District for being a DOC supporter for over 20 years.

The Pomona district claims that by doing so, WVUSD has violated California’s Education Code by “supporting the predominantly segregated school population,” according to the San Gabriel Tribune.

The announcement was made on Jan. 11 at the Pomona school board’s first meeting of the year. The vote for the lawsuit was unanimous.

The lawsuit names not only WVUSD, but also the Glendora and West Covina Unified School Districts. These districts are just three out of the 47 in California that allow out-of-district students to attend.

Among the many laws that are a part of the District of Choice bill, the one in particular that Pomona is claiming “unlawfully segregates” states that “a district of choice cannot accept students from another school district if it would disrupt the home district’s racial and ethnic balance.”

Since DOC was first implemented, Pomona has seen a decrease in the number of white and Asian students enrolled at their schools, according to the lawsuit. Overall, Pomona’s enrollment continues to decrease while schools in WVUSD continue to increase in student numbers. The increase in student population results in an increase in state funding.

As of now, the recently well-known District of Choice bill has not been renewed and is set to be fully terminated in July. However, newly appointed Sen. Josh Newman plans to extend the program until 2022 with proposed Senate Bill 52. (See story on page 1)

At the board meeting, members of the Pomona school board  referred to Senate Bill 52, stating that the district is “willing to invest in advocacy against legislation that proposes to extend DOC,” according to the Tribune. Pomona is planning on working alongside non-DOC districts to help defeat all proposed legislations.

Multiple calls to the WVUSD offices were not returned.

“I will say that our district is prepared to handle anything that comes our way,” Principal Reuben Jones said.