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School District Organization

Information for all parties involved in the school district organization process.

Overview

This web page is intended to be useful to community members, school district administrators, and county committees on school district organization alike.

School districts are a government entity that provides public elementary and/or secondary education to students within a specific territory. For purposes of this topic, the terms "school district" and "district" are used interchangeably. “School district” does not refer to a county office of education, a charter school, a joint powers authority, or any other entity or organizational structure in the field of education. District boundaries change. Territory is transferred from one school district to another, districts are divided or combined with their neighbors, and some districts are terminated.

Per the California Education Code Section 35511, an "action to reorganize districts" means either of the following:

  1. An action to form a new school district, which is accomplished through any of, or any combination of, the following:
    1. Dissolving two or more existing school districts of the same kind and forming one or more new school districts of that same kind from the entire territory of the original districts.
    2. Forming one or more new school districts of the same kind from all or parts of one or more existing school districts of that same kind.
    3. Unifying school districts, including the consolidation of all or part of one or more high school districts with all or part of one or more component school districts into one or more new unified school districts.
    4. Deunifying a school district, including the conversion of all or part of a unified school district into one or more new high school districts, each with two or more new component districts.
  2. An action to transfer territory, including the transfer of all or part of an existing school district to another existing school district.

Per the California Education Code Section 35780.1, lapsation means an action to dissolve a school district and annex the entire territory of that district to one or more adjoining school districts.

Resources

School District Organization Handbook
Reference for procedures and responsibilities for all parties involved in the school district organization process.

School District Reorganizations by Fiscal Year
List of district reorganizations, name changes, and new or retired districts by fiscal year.

Questions:   School District Organization | sdo@cde.ca.gov | 916-322-2740
Last Reviewed: Monday, October 18, 2021
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