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Seven appointed to Citrus Heights Education Committee. Here’s what’s next.

By Sara Beth Williams–
The City Council last month appointed seven individuals to a limited-term Citrus Heights Education Committee (CHEC), tasked with assessing the feasibility of the city forming its own school district.

Following a split vote in May to authorize the formation of the committee, the application period opened last month and remained open for a two-week period. During a June 22 council meeting, Jessica Fork, John Kane, Jeannie Bruins, Karen Mix and Thomas Scheeler were nominated by individual council members, and Robin Stout and Laura Wilbur were appointed at-large.

Bruins, who was nominated by Councilmember Porsche Middleton, previously served on the City Council and held the title of mayor in 2006, 2011, 2016, and 2019. Stout, who was appointed at-large, currently serves as the superintendent of Rocklin Academy Family of Schools, who plan to move the American River Collegiate Academy campus from Orangevale to Citrus Heights.

Mix, who was nominated by Councilmember MariJane Lopez-Taff, spoke during public comment, and said she currently works with the Small School Districts Association as a consultant. Scheeler, nominated by Councilmember Bret Daniels, is a 40-year resident of Citrus Heights. Kane is listed as the pastor at Christ Fellowship Church in Citrus Heights, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Next steps for the committee will include contracting with a consultant to help with facilitating the CHEC over the next four months. The committee aims to meet between July and October 2023, with “some or all of the meetings” to be held on weeknights, according to an agenda packet for the council’s June 22 meeting.

The committee’s key responsibilities will include analyzing Citrus Heights schools, considering test scores, attendance records, extracurricular activities, and school capacity versus actual enrollment. The committee will also research the process of creating a school district, present examples of similar initiatives, assess the city’s capability to form a district, and evaluate the necessary budgetary resources. The committee is slated to return to the City Council in November to provide policy recommendations concerning the feasibility of a Citrus Heights school district.

In past council meetings, council members have been split on whether the city should focus on working with the San Juan Unified School District to improve local schools, or whether to pursue consideration of forming a new school district.

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