In 1850, Yolo County became one of the original twenty-seven counties in California. In 1852, the role of the County Superintendent was initially defined by the state legislature as an add-on function to the office of County Assessor. From 1852 to 1878, the chief fiscal officer in Yolo County was officially titled “Assessor and Superintendent of Schools.”
In 1870, a bill passed that changed the County Superintendent to an elected position and made it part of the state constitution. It took school duties away from the assessor and mandated elections for County Superintendents be held every two years. In 1894 the term was doubled to four years. Today, fifty-three of the fifty-eight County Superintendents are elected while the other five are appointed. The appointed superintendents are in the counties of San Francisco, Santa Clara, Sacramento, Los Angeles, and San Diego.
County Superintendents were given the duties of oversight of school district operations and reporting requirements to the State. Over the years, more responsibilities were given and by 1947 it included twenty-two various functions. Some of those functions included curriculum supervision, emergency teacher credentialing, health and nursing services for districts, coordination of educational resources, attendance monitoring, and funding apportionments.
In recent decades, the responsibilities of the County Superintendent have continued to grow. In 1992 a state law designed to help ensure the financial solvency of schools required county offices to monitor district finances and added new responsibilities to the County Office’s Business Services departments. In 2013, California enacted a new school funding formula model, known as the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), and an accountability program called Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP). These new enactments expanded the local monitoring responsibilities of all 58 county offices of education.
Today, the Yolo County Office of Education operates under the direction of Jesse Ortiz, Ed.D., who became Yolo County Superintendent of Schools on January 5, 2015.