celebrating school choice
Charter Schools Week
Charter schools are incubators of education excellence and I am proud that California is a leader in providing more opportunities for our students. I authored legislation, Assembly Concurrent Resolution 147, which applauds the accomplishments of charter schools across the state by officially recognizing this week as Charter School Week in California.
As a unique and successful element of California's educational system, for the past two decades our state has led the nation in expanding charter schools and giving parents more choices for their children's education. The growth of charter schools has been steadily increasing since their inception in 1993: nearly 1,000 charter schools now operate across the state. Serving more than 400,000 students, charter schools usually operate in districts with challenging economic and social demographics.
Click here to read more.
VIDEO: Assembly unanimously passes ACR 147, designating California Charter Schools Week.
Majority Party Shelves Pension Reform
I co-authored legislation, Assembly Bill 2224 and Assembly Constitutional Amendment 22, which would enact the Governor's 12 point pension plan. The legislation would address some of the worst abuses, such as pension spiking and buying service credit for time not worked.
The Assembly Public Employees, Retirement and Social Security Committee effectively shelved the Governor's plan by referring pension-related bills to interim study.
The Governor's pension plan is a step in the right direction to secure fair pensions for workers, safeguard core budget priorities and protect taxpayers. It's disappointing that this needed reform was killed behind closed doors.
sexual assault awareness month
Remembering Karen Cooper's Achievements
In observance of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) highlights individuals throughout the country whose outstanding prevention work is making a significant impact in their communities. For the 2012 Visionary Voice Award, the NSVRC posthumously awarded Karen Cooper, Executive Director of Family Services of Tulare County, as the Californian recipient for this award.
I joined Senator Jean Fuller, R-Bakersfield, in presenting the award to Karen's husband, Chris, and her daughter, Jayne.
local school visits the capitol
Meeting Monson-Sultana Students
While I prefer talking to constituents when I'm home in the district, I always enjoy when they come to visit me at the Capitol. Recently, eighth graders from Monson-Sultana School visited Sacramento. The Assembly floor became their classroom as I talked to them about my job as a lawmaker and answered their questions.
Click here for more information about arranging a school or group tour of the Capitol. Also, please call my Capitol office at (916) 319-2034 to let us know if your group is coming to Sacramento.
leadership northern tulare county
Business Leaders in Training
Recently, members of the leadership class sponsored by the Dinuba Chamber of Commerce met with me in my Capitol office.
Porterville Wins Grant for Low-Income Housing
Housing assistance is on its way to the City of Porterville. The Department of Housing and Community Development recently awarded the city $600,000 from the CalHome Program.
The CalHome Program, funded by Proposition 1C, plays an important role in assisting the efforts of local agencies to provide affordable home owner rehabilitation programs. These funds will be used to provide rehabilitation assistance to 15 low-income homes.
Job Training Assistance in Lucerne Valley
75 workers in Lucerne Valley will get training to help our workforce fight out-of-state competition. The Employment Training Panel (ETP) approved a $75,000 grant for job training for Specialty Minerals workers.
ETP is the largest state-funded, industry specific training and employment in the country.
With our unemployment rate in the double digits, my top legislative priority is improving California's business climate so we can protect and expand jobs in our state.