Underperforming schools transfer deadline extended

VISALIA, California

Parents with kids in a thousand underperforming schools across the state will be able to move them to a better school.

Phil Black with Visalia Unified says his district has always had a transfer policy in place for program improvement or for underperforming schools. Last week the State Board of Education moved the date for districts to notify parents of their option to change schools -- after members unanimously approved an emergency declaration -- allowing students in the states lowest performing schools to transfer this year instead of next year.

Visalia Unified has four underperforming schools, including Houston Elementary and Sequoia High. In Tulare County there are 33 underachieving schools. Larger districts like Fresno Unified have several schools on the list including Carver Middle, McLane High and Roosevelt High. Fresno County has 41 schools on the list.

Fresno County Superintendent Larry Powell says he's not sure how fast districts can get information out to parents because no specific regulations have been sent yet. The normal deadline has been moved from the first day of school to September 15th.

Administrators agree parents should have choices, but they say the state needs to provide more information about how to make this transfer plan work smoothly before the start of the school year.

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