A bill to extend the 22-year-old District of Choice program is stalled in the state Legislature and some lawmakers say allowing students to choose their districts is harmful to the most disadvantaged schools.
Without the extension, the program would end next year.
That concerns many parents who don't want to remove their children from their current school systems.
"She's already crying about it," said parent Heather Oshmago, whose daughter attends school in Walnut. "I'd have to rip out of the foundation she already has with her friends."
Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, who chairs the Assembly Appropriations Committee, said the committee believes the program "exacerbates the unequal system of haves-and-have-nots in our public schools and that the most disadvantaged schools and the students they serve get left behind."
The state District of Choice program serves about 10,000 transfer students in 47 districts. A state analyst noted that most students in the program generally transfer from districts with lower-than-average test scores to districts with higher scores.