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Outstanding public education is offered through the Chico Unified School District (CUSD), which enrolls approximately 13,000 K-12 students. CUSD operates 11 elementary schools, three junior high schools and two comprehensive high schools. Additionally, the district operates several specialty programs through the Academy for Change Community Day School, Fair View Continuation High School, Oakdale School for Independent Study, Loma Vista Special Services School and the Hooker Oak Open Structured Classroom School. Expansion Management magazine awarded CUSD a 5-star ranking, placing it among the top 20 percent of all school districts in the country, and two of its schools have earned designation as a California Distinguished School.

Several charter schools and private institutions are readily available for those looking for an alternative to public school as well. Chico is also well-supplied with excellent opportunities for higher learning. Butte College, a two-year community college in nearby Oroville, manages the Chico Center, which offers a variety of day, evening and distance-learning courses. The community is also home to the distinguished California State University, Chico, or “Chico State,” a highly rated, four-year public university. Additional options for higher learning include the University of Phoenix and Northern California School of Law.

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