WALNUT CREEK (KRON) – Today the state board of education will review an appeal of a petition to create a new school district in Contra Costa County called the Northgate Unified School District.

The petition submitted by community members in 2017 was denied by the Contra Costa County superintendent of schools.

Those in favor of the break-out school district are hoping the state will side with them.

The petition includes taking a few schools from the Mount Diablo School District to create the Northgate School District.

The Contra Costa County committee is against this saying the plan would displace hundreds of students.

The petition would have taken five schools away from MDUSD, including Bancroft elementary, Valle Verde elementary, Walnut Acres elementary, Foothill middle and Northgate high.

But the plan excludes three other schools in Northgate’s attendance area: Highlands elementary, Oak Grove middle and Ygnacio Valley high.

The superintenent says five years later this petition still doesn’t meet the requirements to get approved. He hopes the state board of education agrees with the counties 2017 decision to deny it.

He, along with other district board members, have written to the state with strong opposition to this plan.

“I am extremely proud and fortunate to lead the Mt. Diablo Unified School District,” said Superintendent Adam Clark stated. “In 2017, the County Committee on School District Reorganization rejected the petition to create the Northgate Unified School District, finding it failed to meet many key criteria necessary to approve such a petition. On July 13, 2022, the state board of education will hear the appeal on the 2017 decision. Just as in 2017, the petition does not meet the criteria required to approve such a change. I want to thank the community members, employees and students who oppose this secession for their efforts to communicate with the state board of education.”

Cherise Khaund, who represents the Northgate area of the MDUSD on its board, agrees with Clark.

“I agree with the California Department of Education (CDE) recommendation that the state board of education should disapprove the petition to form a new Northgate school district, and with their concerns about how this proposal would remove the most affluent area of the Mt. Diablo USD to create a less diverse school district,” Khaund stated. “The diversity of Mt. Diablo school district is one of the things that drew us to enroll our children here, along with excellent programs such as Dual Language Immersion, International Baccalaureate, and Autism magnet programs. I don’t want my own or other Northgate area students to lose access to all of this, nor do I want to see the Eagle Peak Montessori School lose its longstanding charter. Together we can continue to build excellent educational opportunities for all students.”

The state board of education will have a live webcast meeting at noon today.

People can submit public comment if they join the meeting virtually at the phone number 667-770-1405, with the access code 1198774. More information, including a link to the live webcast, is available here.