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New Emergency Regulations on Open Enrollment, Parent Empowerment Opposed by ACSA

July 22, 2010

In an alert sent to members on Wednesday, the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) restated its opposition to the emergency regulations for the Open Enrollment Act, as well as emergency regulations relating to Parent Empowerment of that bill, which were approved last week by the State Board of Education (SBE).

As reported in EdBrief last week, the State Board of Education (SBE) voted on July 15 to approve sending to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) a set of emergency regulations to speed up the implementation of State Sen. Gloria Romero’s Open Enrollment Act (SB X5 4 – Chapter 3).  ACSA and other groups strongly opposed the package as unnecessary, without merit of a “finding of emergency,” and a restriction on adequate public comment.  Click here to view ACSA’s memorandum of opposition to the emergency regulations for the Open Enrollment Act.  Click here to view ACSA’s comments on the emergency regulations regarding the act’s Parent Empowerment provisions.

The process for emergency regulations is different than regular rulemaking.  The SBE claims they have to push emergency regulations because a need for emergency regulations is stated in SB X5 4.  ACSA disagrees with this claim, and maintains emergency regulations may cause more harm than good given that parents do not signal intent to enroll in a receiving district in the current year, but in the proceeding year.

ACSA did not support the Open Enrollment Act as written, taking the view that the bill creates another formula to over identify schools as low achieving.  In a memorandum to the SBE (dated Thursday), ACSA representative Sherry Griffith writes “The Open Enrollment Act is a poorly written statute and the SBE would be better served sending it back to the Legislature for amendments so that students in lower achieving schools could be better served.”

Regarding the emergency regulations relating to Parent Empowerment, the ACSA alert said “ACSA opposed these emergency regulations because they are not required by statute and may do more harm then good by not addressing many important implementation questions.  ACSA supports the use of the regular rulemaking process to ensure adequate time for public input. That process will begin in September 2010.”

Sources:  Association of California School Administrators