Orange County School of the Arts

OCSA’s proposed San Diego expansion halted

Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA) has halted plans for their attempted expansion to San Diego Canyon.

jeff school
Protesters at a school board meeting. Credits: San Diego Union Tribune

Charter schools are a fiery topic in education nowadays. Some support the unique and specialized opportunities that they give students, while others oppose how charter schools use public funds but can deny public school students.

The new branch of OCSA would have opened where Jefferson Middle School currently stands. Though the Oceanside Unified School District allowed the charter, many others in the community were not happy. This audition-dependent school would be much less diverse than the local community. The ACLU states that by turning Jefferson Middle School into an arts charter school, Latino and other minority students face barriers to admission. The community around Jefferson Middle School is primarily Latino, and barriers to admission from the proposed charter school would mean students outside of Oceanside—not members of the Oceanside community—would benefit from the new school.

save jeff poster
Protesters. Credits: San Diego Union Tribune

There were also complications for students who were originally zoned for Jefferson Middle School, as they’d have to attend different campuses. Additionally, the new branch of OCSA would have to raise about $50 million to renovate Jefferson with new dance, science, and art facilities.

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