Attorney General Issues Guidance on School Closures

The California Attorney General’s Office has some advice for school districts looking to close down campuses amid declining enrollment: Make sure you follow the law.

On Tuesday, Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta issued an 18-page guidance on best practices for school closures in California.

“It is essential that school closure decisions comply with our federal and state civil rights laws. These decisions must be carefully planned to mitigate harm and ensure equal opportunity for all of our students. As such, I write today to set forth school districts’ legal obligations while closing, merging, or consolidating schools and to provide best practices for navigating this difficult process. With strategic planning, transparent and inclusive community engagement, and a focus on addressing California’s history of unequal education, our school districts can avoid repeating the harms of the past to build better, more equitable educational opportunities for all students.”

Bonta’s guidance reminds districts that school closures must comply with AB 1912. This legislation mandates an equity impact assessment and a community engagement process prior to any closure. Districts must then work to identify and address any inequities that a closure may cause.

“We must all accept the challenge of protecting California's students and communities from inequality and injustice,” wrote Bonta. “Adhering to this guidance is one step in the right direction.”

Read the entire guidance here



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