The San Joaquin County Office of Education is a regional agency that provides educational leadership, resources, and customized services to assist school districts. The SJCOE promotes student achievement and accountability, serves San Joaquin County’s most at-risk students, and strives to create an environment in which every student, regardless of circumstances, has an opportunity for a quality education.
The history of the SJCOE stretches back to 1852, when the California Legislature created the office of the county superintendent of schools for the state’s original 27 counties, which included San Joaquin County.
S.A. Hurlburt became San Joaquin County’s first superintendent in 1853. It was one of the roles he assumed as county assessor. That year, 256 students were enrolled in three county school districts.
Today, the SJCOE is fiscally independent from county government, and there are nearly 144,000 students enrolled in 14 school districts. James Mousalimas became the 26th San Joaquin County Superintendent of Schools after he was elected to the office in 2014.
The foundation of a three-level education system in the state remains 164 years later, with county offices serving as a link between the California Department of Education and local school districts.
The SJCOE fulfills state mandates to oversee district finances, register teacher credentials, certify school attendance records, and develop countywide programs to serve special student populations. It also provides leadership, resources, and services to assist school districts.
Supporting districts includes performing tasks that can be done more efficiently and economically at the county level. The Business Services Division maintains technological infrastructure and provides financial services for much of the county. The County Operated Schools and Programs Division educates students in the county who are most at risk. The Special Education and SELPA Division coordinates programs and services for over 9,000 students with special needs in the San Joaquin County SELPA, including over 850 students in SJCOE programs. The Educational Services Division helps schools build new curricula and provides training that improves services to students in classrooms across the county.
The Human Resources Department assists districts with everything from employee trainings to teacher credentials. Multiple departments help districts develop and review the Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAPs) that declare the priorities of local schools. In addition, the SJCOE also operates three charter schools.
These are but a few of the many ways the SJCOE supports education in San Joaquin County. Much has changed in education in San Joaquin County over the past 164 years. There will be more changes as schools incorporate new standards that will prepare students for college and 21st-century careers. The SJCOE will be a part of that change, moving education forward.