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April 29, 2002

For More Information, Contact:
Kristina Loquist at (916) 651-4011


SACRAMENTO – Assemblyman Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) hosted a State Budget update on Sunday, April 28th for Santa Clara County school board members, superintendents, teachers, parents, and other education advocates.  As Chair of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance, Simitian provided an update on the state budget as it relates to K-12 education and invited questions, comments and suggestions regarding funding priorities and solutions. 

“I appreciated Assemblyman Simitian’s straight talk about the current realities of the State budget,” said Cupertino Union School District Board Member Pearl Cheng.  “Knowing which state education initiatives are at risk helps us at the local level make more strategic decisions in our own budgets and in our advocacy in Sacramento.”

“In order for me to best serve our school communities, it’s important that I stay in touch with the education leaders in my Assembly district,” said Simitian.  “This is an extraordinarily tough budget year, and we are going to need to make difficult decisions – both locally and in Sacramento. Being well informed about the needs of local schools and the kids they serve will help me make the best decisions possible.”

Simitian heard from more than fifty interested school advocates. The concerns raised ranged from school funding issues to teacher involvement in curriculum decisions to accountability for student results.

According to Palo Alto School Board Member John Tuomy, “It’s great to have Joe give us such direct access. He’ll play a key role in sorting out the State’s education budget. It’s also helpful that as a former school board member Joe’s been in the trenches. He’s seen firsthand how the decisions in Sacramento affect us at the local level. That’s why it makes so much sense to work together.”

Simitian observed, “I learned as much as I shared today. There’s never a shortage of creative thinking when you bring together local folks who know public education.”

A second budget update meeting for San Mateo County school board members, superintendents, teachers, and parents is scheduled for Saturday, May 18th from 10 a.m. to Noon. In the fall Simitian plans to hold two additional education update sessions focused on education legislation passed in 2002 and new legislation ideas for 2003.

Simitian is a former School Board President, Past-President of the Santa Clara County School Boards’ Association, and public schools attorney. Since joining the California State Assembly in December 2000, he has chaired the Assembly’s Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance. The Subcommittee on Education Finance is responsible for overseeing about $50 billion in education funding, which is roughly equal to about half the State’s total budget. The Subcommittee’s scope includes K-12 education as well as community colleges, the California State University system, and the University of California.



Related Pages: Education, Press Releases