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January 17, 2001

For More Information, Contact:
Jamille Moens at (916) 651-4011


SACRAMENTO - Assemblymember Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) announced today that he has been selected by Assembly Speaker Robert M. Hertzberg to Chair the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance.  Over half of the State’s $82.9 billion General Fund budget goes through the Budget Subcommittee on Education.

“I’m pleased for this opportunity to help ensure adequate and thoughtfully targeted funding for public education,” said Simitian.  “This assignment will allow me to address the needs of kids and schools in a direct and effective way.”

Officially titled the Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 2 on Education Finance, Simitian’s committee will consider the Governor’s K-12 and Higher Education proposed budget.  The Committee is responsible for crafting the Assembly’s proposed budget package for education for consideration by the legislature and, ultimately, submittal to the Governor.  Simitian’s Education Finance Committee will have jurisdiction on budget matters for the State’s K-12 school districts, Community Colleges, State Universities, the UC system, and financial aid for public and private universities.  This year the Governor’s proposed budget contains approximately $43 billion dollars for K-12 and Higher Education – over half of the $82.9 billion General Fund budget for the State.

In making the appointment, Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg noted that, “Joe Simitian’s eight years on a local school board, his service as Chair of a County School Boards’ Association and his professional expertise as a public schools attorney make him uniquely qualified to serve as Chair of our Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education.”

Simitian served on the Palo Alto School Board from 1983 to 1991, including two terms as President.  He also chaired the Santa Clara County School Boards’ Association for the 33 K-12 school districts in the County.  Floyd Gonella, San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools, commented, “I am extremely pleased that Joe will be at the helm of Education Finance in the Assembly.  He understands what it takes to create successful schools and is well aware of what is occurring in local districts.  This means good things for us on the Peninsula.”

Simitian’s efforts on behalf of children and public education have continued throughout his career in public service.  As a member of the Palo Alto City Council Simitian served on the City-School Liaison Committee, and during his term as a County Supervisor he served on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors’ Children & Families Committee.

During his term as Supervisor he also chaired the County’s Finance Committee, reflecting his long-time attention to sound fiscal management in local government. Simitian’s combined experience in matters of finance and education should serve him well in his new leadership role as Chair of the Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance.

On a professional level Simitian acquired a statewide perspective on the challenges facing public schools while practicing public school law with the Palo Alto law firm of Kay & Stevens.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin said of Simitian’s appointment, “Joe understands first-hand the needs of children in the classroom.  And he knows what it takes to provide quality classroom instruction.  The Speaker has made an outstanding choice!”

In accepting the appointment Simitian noted, “At the end of the day, the success of our kids, our communities, our economy and our state is directly linked to our success in the classroom.  I’m pleased to be in a position where I can help to ensure that success.”

Simitian is the son of two retired public school teachers.



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