District of Choice Bill extended for five years
The District of Choice (DoC) Bill has been extended as of June 15, 2017 and will allow students to remain in the school district of their choice until July 1, 2022.
The DoC Bill was introduced in 1993 to give students the right to choose where they receive their education. However, after 24 years, the bill was set to expire on July 1, 2017. In response to the expiration of the bill, approximately 3,500 students would transfer to schools within their residential districts.
“Students feel that they have the right to choose where they want to go to school,” Principal Brandon Dade said. “We live in a time [when] we preach that people can make and form decisions based on what they feel is best for their needs, but when you do something like not allowing DoC to continue, you’re taking away the freedom of choice.”
District-wide protests by students, parents and teachers attempted to convey collective concerns about the future of students’ educations. Phone calls, messages and emails to senators also sought to contribute to the reconsideration of the bill.
“Sometimes when people are silent, it gives the impression to the leaders that it’s not a big deal,” Dade said. “But when people speak out, they see how many people are speaking out from different areas and the passion behind their words. It shows them that [the bill] means something to the people. We have a choice in where we want to continue our education and a choice in our careers, so I’m glad we can continue this pattern.”
By Melissa Kim, In-depth Editor
Photo by Airi Gonzalez