News Update

State rejects effort in Walnut Creek to form breakaway school district

An affluent neighborhood in Walnut Creek will not be allowed to secede from the Mt. Diablo Unified School District and form its own school district in Contra Costa County, the California State Board of Education decided, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Thursday.

Residents of the Northgate area of Mt. Diablo district had sought to break away, submitting 6,700 signatures from residents who wanted to vote on the issue in an election, which would have been the final step had the state board decided to uphold the petition. In rejecting it, the state board unanimously affirmed an earlier decision by the Contra Costa County Committee on School District Organization, the Chronicle reported.

The state went along with the county decision largely because the proposal would carve out the highest performing and least diverse schools in Mt. Diablo Unified and adversely affect the remainder of the district. The proposal was also determined to be exclusionary and to promote racial segregation. The proposed Northgate Unified School District would have been 50% white, while the remaining schools in the district would be 25% white, according to the Chronicle.

The report said that the new district would have 9% non-English speakers as opposed to 26% in the remainder of the district. It also said that the creation of a new district was an attempt to isolate Northgate High, which is both the newest and highest-performing high school in the district, from the lesser-performing high schools in Mt. Diablo Unified.

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