Action Alert: tell SBE to reject Northgate petition

#ActionAlert - Did you know the State Board of Education will be hearing the appeal next week of the Northgate petition to form a new school district?

Your perspective is needed!  Please e-mail the state board of education today/tomorrow to ask them to reject the Northgate district petition, then sign up to participate in the hearing next Wednesday.

    • Email: [email protected]
    • The following information should be included in the body of the email:
      • Commenter’s first and last name
      • Organization affiliation
      • Agenda Item number 5.
  2. Then sign up here to let us know you can join us July 13 in attending the hearing to comment in Sacramento or by phone.

Visit the MDUSD webpage for more detailed information that is updated regularly:

Northgate Petition Update

Public Hearing Set on Northgate Petition

Please take notice that the hearing on the petition to create a "Northgate Unified School District" carved from Mt. Diablo Unified School District territory including the following schools and attendance areas: Bancroft Elementary, Valle Verde Elementary, Walnut Acres Elementary, Foothill Middle, and Northgate High School, will be held on Wednesday, July 13, 2022, at or soon after 12:00 PM.

The petition was previously denied by the Contra Costa County Committee on School District Reorganization because it failed to meet the criteria necessary to approve such a petition, including:

  • the petition would not result in an equitable division of property between the districts;
  • each affected district would not have the ability to educate its students in an integrated environment and would promote ethnic discrimination or segregation; 
  • the petition would not promote sound educational performance and would significantly disrupt the educational programs in the affected districts;
  • the petition would increase school facilities costs in a significant way;
  • the petition would not promote sound fiscal management and would create negative effects on the fiscal statuses of each district.

MDUSD values its ability to offer the best quality education to all its students in educational environments that center inclusion and promote respect, collaboration and creativity, and therefore opposes the petition.  

A live broadcast of the hearing will be available here.

Additional details can be found in the agenda here (Item 05).

Need inspiration for your email?

Here's a basic template for you to personalize, plus see my message below, and you can check out testimonials from community residents posted on the Northgate Uncapped facebook page.

To: [email protected]
Subject: Comment In Opposition to Petition to Form Northgate Unified School District; Item 05

In the body of the email:

Dear Members of the State Board of Education:

My name is __________________. I am (affiliated with the ____________ (organization) and/or I am (a parent of a district student that would be negatively impacted by the formation of Northgate Unified School District) and/or (I am a teacher/board member/staff member of the Mt. Diablo Unified School District).

I wish to express my unequivocal opposition to this Petition because __________________(insert specific reasons).

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at this email address or by phone at (____) _________.

Thank you for your consideration of my comments.

And here’s a copy of what I sent:

Dear State Board of Education,

Please vote to reject the petition to form a new Northgate school district - Agenda Item #5.

I agree with the California Department of Education (CDE) recommendation that you - the State Board of Education - should disapprove it, and with their concerns about how this proposal would remove the most affluent area of the Mt. Diablo USD to create a less diverse school district.

In addition to the criteria that the CDE cited as not met, I believe that at least 2 more of the state criteria to form a new district also failed:

  • #4 - no segregation of schools and
  • #6 - don't significantly disrupt educational programs.

The county board voted that these two criteria also failed.

The CDE report recognized the issue of segregation as a concern, realizing the national trend of splinter districts being formed by affluent areas in order to cement in segregation before any districtwide integration efforts can be put into place. Therefore they should have found criteria #4 to be "not met', just as the county board did. And the report failed to recognize all of the key educational programs that would be severely impacted.

The diversity of Mt Diablo school district is one of the things that drew my family to enroll our children here, along with excellent programs such as Dual Language Immersion, International Baccalaureate, and Autism magnet programs. I don't want my own or other Northgate area students to lose access to all of this, nor do I want to see the Eagle Peak Montessori School lose its longstanding charter under MDUSD.

Though they were not mentioned in the CDE staff report, Ygnacio Valley High now has the only International Baccalaureate Diploma programme in the region, a gem of excellence that currently all MDUSD students have access to. And all MDUSD students can also apply to enroll in College Now, a partnership with DVC where students get dual college credit while still in high school. Northgate area students would lose access to all of this if they have to leave the Mt Diablo school district. Plus, students from the rest of Mt Diablo would lose access to the Northgate area schools where many are currently enrolled for speciality programs - such as the Autism magnet pathway, AP Computer Science, and the Northgate High award winning jazz band.

Most egregious is the request by petitioners to allow only Northgate area residents to vote on the proposal if it moves forward, which the Mayor of Concord said would disenfranchise 85% of voters in the district.

I was part of a coalition of parents, teachers, and community that founded the new nonprofit Mt. Diablo Education Foundation five years ago to ensure that all Mt Diablo students could access quality education, regardless of zip code. Together as one community and district, we can continue to build excellent educational opportunities for all students.

Please don't disrupt the progress we are making in building more diverse, inclusive public schools. Please vote no on this Northgate petition.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. Thank you for your consideration of my comments.

- Cherise Khaund, MDUSD School Board member Trustee area 4, and parent of 2 MDUSD students

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  • Cherise Khaund
    published this page in Blog 2022-07-07 10:13:00 -0700