A petition to take Northgate area schools from the Mt. Diablo school district and merge them with Walnut Creek and Acalanes school districts has fallen short of the required number of signatures.

Ruth Carver and other Northgate High School parents fed up with Mt. Diablo school district in January turned in close to 3,000 signatures to the Contra Costa County Office of Education.

The group, then called Northgate Parents for Transfer, gathered signatures from voters in the Walnut Creek School District and need at least 10 percent of 29,321 to sign before county school officials would hold a hearing.

However, the petition turned into the county Office of Education had duplicate signatures and some from outside that district, said Peggy Marshburn, office of education spokeswoman. Marshburn said the group needs more than 400 additional names to qualify for a hearing.

Carver said she and her supporters will head out to gather more signatures this week.

"We're already organizing," Carver said.

Carver is trying to change district boundaries so that the area within the city of Walnut Creek and inside the boundaries of Bancroft, Valle Verde and Walnut Acres elementary schools be placed under the authority of Walnut Creek and Acalanes Union High school districts.

If successful, about 5,000 students would be shifted from Mt. Diablo schools to these two neighboring districts.

Shirley Dang covers education. Reach her at 925-977-8418 or sdang@bayareanewsgroup.



com.