While there is much talk throughout the state of California regarding the pros and cons of a later school start time, it will not be something entertained by the Oakdale Joint Unified School District.
During the February monthly meeting, Superintendent Dr. Dave Kline presented the board with Board Resolution 21-22-16 to Declare OJUSD as a ‘Rural District.’
“Senate Bill 328 was approved by the governor of California in 2019. This bill requires high schools in California to start no earlier than 8:30 a.m.; Oakdale High currently has a start time of 7:40 a.m.,” Dr. Kline read from the action item. “Oakdale Joint Unified needs are different than large urban districts within California. OJUSD believes that a change to an 8:30 start time will not benefit the students, parents or the community.
“If OJUSD does not identify itself as a rural district and maintains its current start time there will be a definitive decrease in state funding,” he continued. “However, if OJUSD declares itself as a rural district and there are no changes to SB 328 or the term rural district as defined by the state, there will be no decrease in state funding and it is recommended that the Board of Trustees approves resolution 21-22-16 thereby declaring OJ USD as a rural school district.”
Input was given in regards to declaring OJUSD a rural district, as there is currently no state definition as to what a “rural district” might be. OJUSD was able to identify one which was included in the resolution.
Board Resolution 21-22-16 pinpoints this, defining the district as rural.
The law states if the district were to start prior to the 8:30 a.m. start time and not be defined as rural, the district would face a financial impact. The resolution both defends the district as well as saves money, since there is yet to be a clear definition as to what “rural” is.
“That is the purpose of this,” President Diane Gilbert said of the board resolution. “We’re being proactive, so then we can keep things as they are and do our early start time with our zero period and all the things that we’ve been doing up to this point.”
The board had no additional questions or comments, nor did the audience. Acceptance of the resolution was voted in unanimously by the board members present for the meeting.