Northgate Residents Petition for New Community-Based School District

Northgate CAPS, Inc. presented a 6,137-signature petition to the County Superintendent of Schools, requesting the County Committee on School District Organization to approve a ballot proposal to create a new Northgate Unified School District (NUSD).  The proposed district would manage five Northgate-area public schools including Northgate High School, Foothill Middle School, plus Bancroft, Valle Verde, and Walnut Acres Elementary schools.

After the County Superintendent of Schools has verified the petition and the signatures are validated by the County Board of Elections, the County Committee on School District Organization has 60 days to schedule hearings with the consultant hired to review the petition as well as to hear input from the public.

If the Committee approves the petition, it will go before the State Board of Education.  Their approval is needed to allow the proposal to come before local voters.

According to Linda Loza, President of Northgate CAPS, the volunteer organization that sponsored the campaign, the Northgate community is committed improving learning opportunities for its students and teachers.

Although the campaign attracted criticism from a group of educators in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District (MDUSD), it also attracted volunteer support from current and former employees of the district. “We understood the need to protect the privacy of the MDUSD teachers and administrators who supported us,” said Alisa MacCormac, former president of the Northgate HS Parent Faculty Club and a co-founder and past president of the PEAK Educational Foundation that provides financial support for programs in the Northgate-area schools.  “Those current and former educators see the potential in our schools, and they deserve extra appreciation for the risks that they took to support positive changes for our students and teachers.”

This is the third effort by Northgate residents to separate from MDUSD over the past 30 years. The residents behind Northgate CAPS say the district, with over 32,000 students, 3,000 employees, 56 schools and a $330 million budget, is simply too large to serve all its constituencies. “MDUSD is too big to function effectively,” claims Loza.

“We believe this campaign offers a first step in getting MDUSD down to a manageable scale, where it can perform better, for all students.”

To learn more, visit northgatecaps.org on the web, Northgate CAPS on Facebook.