Santa Clara County, CA March 7, 2000 Election
Smart Voter

Improving California's Public Education System

By Elaine Alquist

Candidate for Member of the State Assembly; District 22

This information is provided by the candidate
Over the last three decades, funding for California's public schools has declined from 5th in the nation in per-pupil spending to 37th. That's a disgrace! Our children deserve better, and the future of Santa Clara County and the state of California depend on it.
29. Full Text of Position Paper One: As a former math teacher and school board member, I know that revitalizing California's public education system is critical to our success in the 21st century. As a member of the Assembly Education Committee, I have dedicated myself to improving the math skills of California's children, increasing instructional training for California's teachers, putting more computers in California's classrooms, strengthening parental involvement in school decision-making and increasing children's safety.

No single magic bullet will fix our education problems overnight, but I believe we should do everything we can and invest every available resource we have into strengthening our schools. Over the last three decades, funding for California's public schools declined from 5th in the nation in per-pupil spending to 37th. That's a disgrace! We must do better. And, working together, I know we can do better. Our children deserve no less, and the future of Santa Clara County and the state of California depend on it.

During my last two terms of office, I have backed my position with my actions. I have authored all of the following bills, except those that state I have been the joint introducer, joint author or co-author:

AB2 - Graduate Education Opportunity Act - Allows students to take employer-funded graduate courses without the cost of those courses being considered taxable income, up to $5,250. Status: In Senate Appropriations Committee and funded in State budget.

AB 897 - Pupil Assistance for School Success (PASS) - Allows school districts to make efficient use of remedial education and summer school funds by shifting among the programs to areas of greatest local need (remedial education for 7-12, remedial education for 2-9, core summer school program). Status: Senate Appropriations.

AB 898 - Technology Training Centers - Technology training grants for minority and low-income students and parents. Status: Senate Education Committee.

AB 899 - Assumption Program of Loans for Education (APLE) - Creates incentives for teachers to become credentialed. Status: Assembly Appropriations Committee.

AB 908 - Gender Equity in Education - Requires the Commission on Teacher Credentialing to adopt accrediting standards to ensure that significant attention to gender equality issues is provided in teacher training programs. Status: Senate Appropriations Committee.

AB 1321 - Summer Math Institute Pilot Program - Creates a summer math institute for struggling middle school students who need to prepare for high school math. Status: Vetoed by the Governor in 1997 but is now part of the current Governor's education legislative package.

AB 1331 - Allocates $14 million to increase teacher training in math instruction for teachers who teach math in middle schools. Signed into law.

AB 1452 - Graduate Medical Education Study Bill - Increases the number of geriatricians that the University of California Academic Geriatric Resource Programs produce annually by providing loan forgiveness for residents who enter the program and provide incentives for other health care professionals to study geriatric issues. Status: Inactive. A new bill is being drafted to replace this bill. The new bill will provide loan forgiveness for students studying to become physicians or nurses who train to treat elderly patients and actually treat older patients in their practices. The new bill will be introduced February, 2000

AB 1626 - Eliminates social promotion (joint author). Status: signed into law.

AB 2755 - Requires Superintendent of Public Instruction to develop a plan to increase parental involvement in schools. Status: signed into law.

AB 1X - Provides an intensive reading improvement program for pupils and teachers (co-introducer). Status: signed into law.

SB 2X - Provides for an exit examination in mathematics, reading and writing for graduation from high school (co-author). Status: signed into law.

SB 12 - Class size reduction (co-author). Status: signed into law.

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