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December 2, 2010

For More Information, Contact:
Melissa Figueroa (916) 651-4011
Phil Yost (650) 688-6384


SACRAMENTO – Lauding the efforts of State Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) as an advocate for education, the California School Boards Association has honored him as 2010 “Outstanding Legislator of the Year.” 

Simitian will be acknowledged tomorrow by CSBA for his continuing efforts to ensure fair and adequate funding for K-12 education; for his legislation to develop a statewide data system that provides accountability and effectiveness in the state’s education system; and for his efforts to ensure that California’s recently enacted Open Enrollment Act works fairly and effectively for students and school districts throughout the state.

Simitian’s signature accomplishment in 2010 was passage of his “Kindergarten Readiness Act” (Senate Bill 1381) which was signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger this fall. The bill requires children to turn five before September 1 in order to begin kindergarten and establishes a new Transitional Kindergarten for “young fives” (i.e., younger five-year-olds with fall birthdays). The Governor called the bill “a landmark accomplishment for early childhood developmental education in California” and commended Simitian “for his steadfast dedication to California’s students.”

“Senator Simitian understands the challenges our state’s schools face at the local level, and as a former school board member he knows what it takes to get the job done,” said Cupertino Union School District Board President Jo Lucey.  “We commend him for his continuing efforts to ensure adequate school funding and success in the classroom, even with the difficult economy facing the state.”

“Senator Simitian understands the demands facing administrators, teachers and students from kindergarten through high school,” said Lorraine Rumley, Vice President of the Sequoia Union High School District Board of Trustees. “He ‘gets it,’ and that understanding is clearly reflected in his work in Sacramento.”

Simitian will be presented with his “Outstanding Legislator of the Year” award Friday, December 3rd in San Francisco at CSBA’s annual convention. Also to be honored by CSBA is Assembly Member Julia Brownley (D-Santa Monica), Chair of the Assembly Education Committee.

Improving K-12 education has been a priority for Simitian since he was first elected to the Legislature in 2000. A former school board President in Palo Alto, Chair of the County School Boards Association, and school law attorney, Simitian previously served as Chair of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education and has just completed his sixth year as a member of the Senate Education Committee. This is the second time the CSBA has recognized him as Outstanding Legislator of the Year.

For more information on Simitian’s education legislation, including the Kindergarten Readiness Act of 2010, visit