Making history: Lowell Joint School District switches from LACOE to OCDE

The Orange County Department of Education has added another school district to its jurisdiction, bringing the total number to 28. The Lowell Joint School District, which was formerly under the umbrella of the Los Angeles County Office of Education, will transfer to OCDE as of July 1.

The switch is a result of Measure O, which received support from over 70% of voters in March 2020. According to Dean West, OCDE’s Associate Superintendent of Business Services, “this is the first time the state has transferred a school district from one county to another via a ballot measure.”

LJSD serves 3,000 K-8 students in La Habra (Orange County), La Habra Heights (Los Angeles), and Whittier (Los Angeles). Two-thirds of its students live in Los Angeles, but 98% go on to the Fullerton Joint Union High School District in Orange County.

“Because an overwhelming majority of students will go on to attend schools in Fullerton Joint, it’s critical for the two districts to work together to create a seamless experience for families,” according to the OCDE Newsroom. “Sharing a county office of education makes it more efficient to coordinate everything from career technical education and grant applications to student supports, such as the California Multi-Tiered System of Support framework led by OCDE.

Come July, the Lowell Joint School District headquarters will remain in Whittier. But the district will route its funding through the Orange County Treasury and operate within OCDE’s financial systems. Under the direction of County Superintendent Al Mijares, OCDE will also assume responsibility for fiscal oversight and approval of Lowell Joint’s state-mandated accountability plan — services that are typically provided by a county office.”

Read more about the upcoming transfer here