Forum Open Thread 2018: Orange County School Board

Welcome to the open thread for the Orange County Board of Education candidate forum happening on April 15, 2018, at 7:00 pm. The candidates are:

  • Hawkeye Aguilar
  • Jessica Aguilar
  • Will Atherton
  • Hillary MacKenzie
  • Sarah Smylie
  • Brenda Stephens

We hope you'll use this open thread to post your thoughts and reactions or to propose additional discussion topics. The forum moderator will have final say in question selection.




In the question titled, First Choice for Families, LaTarndra asked me to clarify what I meant by neighborhood schools. I would like to repost my response here and then follow up. 

Around 10% of the students who are districted for OCS attend charters instead. Families with more resources are typically the ones who are able to send their children to charter schools, as charters do not usually provide transportation or free/reduced meals. The county is then liable for funding students at charters, and this reduces the per pupil budget for our public schools. Additionally, because families with more resources are the ones leaving public schools, OCS ends up with fewer resources in the form of family contributions to fundraisers and fewer parent volunteer hours.

I believe we have an important opportunity at this time to show members of the community how special Orange County Schools are and highlight the great things each school, and the district as a whole, can offer students. It is easy to understand why some families like the idea of “more options” when they are able to provide the necessary resources to send their kids wherever they would like. However, with additional information about the benefits of public education, I am optimistic we can shift the trend back to neighborhood schools.

By neighborhood schools, I meant to describe regularly zoned schools in our public school district. (I understand this term is sometimes co-opted by those who use it to mean something else. I apologize for the ambiguity and meant it in the traditional sense). 


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