The San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) serves the region's most vulnerable students, and supports school leaders, teachers, and students across the county. We support about 780 schools and nearly 500,000 students, including the children we educate each year through our Juvenile Court and Community Schools.
SDCOE provides a variety of services for the 42 school districts, 129 charter schools, and five community college districts in the county.
Our mission is inspiring and leading innovation in education and our North Star goal over the next several years is to reduce the percentage of students qualifying for free or reduced lunch as part of a larger effort to elevate the needs of historically underserved students and families.
SDCOE’s North Star
Our North Star is a goal to reduce poverty in our county through public education.
Approximately half of all students in San Diego County qualify for free or reduced lunch in the 2022-23 school year. That means they are living in conditions where a family of four has an annual income of $39,000 to $55,000 per year.
SDCOE has set the ambitious goal of reducing this number from 51% in 2022-23 to 35% by the end of the 2029-30 school year. This goal will guide SDCOE’s work as we strive for a future without boundaries for all students.
Our North Star framework has two key elements: transformational teaching and learning in community schools and curb cut culture – with our board goals, the SDCOE Equity Blueprint for Action, and student wellness at the center.
The income divide reaches across racial, ethnic, and gender boundaries. Addressing income inequality will not only improve the lives and futures of our students but will also better our entire region.
Trying to survive with less money than a family needs can impact everything from a student’s ability to listen and engage with learning in class to a caregiver’s physical health with stress, workload, and nutrition. This has a long-lasting ripple effect on our entire community.
We believe schools can make a difference now and in the future as community schools. Schools are community hubs where students, families, staff members, and community groups gather. Schools can listen and respond to the unique needs of their community. Schools can bring their community together with outside organizations that provide services and care.
An integral part of this anti-poverty work is including those who have historically been marginalized. In his article Poverty and Race Through a Belongingness Lens, professor john a. powell says, “In a wealthy and mature democracy, poverty is largely about social exclusion and the lack of belonging, not material inequality.” This inequality negatively affects all of society.
The goal is to provide a pathway to economic mobility so children and families have what they need to thrive, not just survive.
Check out the new Annual Report website where you can view stories, see program highlights, and learn more about the County Office. The Annual Report can also be downloaded.
Sign up for What's Happening, a monthly eNewsletter featuring free and low-cost enrichment opportunities for schools, teachers, parents, and students. We also produce the SDCOE Community Quarterly, an eNewsletter that highlights the best of our local school stories four times each year.
Get up-to-the-minute information about what's happening at SDCOE and schools across the county by following @SanDiegoCOE on social media.