In California, One County Board of Education is Not Like the Other

by Stefan Bean at

If awards were to be given out for going above and beyond for parents, students and options in education, the prize would go to the Orange County Board of Education.

However, not everyone is a fan. 

The Orange County Committee on School District Organization, or “County Committee’ for short, is the body responsible for school district territory transfers and boundary changes. The Committee utilizes taxpayer funds to hire legal counsel and redistricting consultants. However, the direct funding is overseen and approved by the Superintendent of Education.  

In 2021 this small bureaucratic backwater, seldom heard from, staffed, and funded by the Orange County Superintendent’s office, made headlines for trying to wrest control of the redistricting process from the Orange County Board of Education itself. In theory, the Board, and the Superintendent work together for the benefit of students. But in Orange County, the Superintendent and Trustees are separately elected and while they should work together toward a common goal, in Orange County that’s not always the case. 

An example of that enmity is the Committee appointment process. Appointees are typically current or former school board members, but all of them don’t have to be. Recently, an opponent of one of the current OCBE trustees was appointed to this body. The one thing almost all of these appointees have in common is that they lean to the left of the political spectrum and most are strong backers or have been backed by teachers’ unions. It is one of the many back door tactics the unions are using to take down a pro-charter education system overseen by the Orange County Board of Education. Here are the details.