Joe Simitian on Education
"On the school board, I fought for higher standards for teacher tenure and for
classroom accountability. In the Assembly, I'll work to raise California to the national
average in school funding - so we have the resources to attract the best teachers
and take class size reduction beyond K through 3rd grades.
One of my top priorities for California is creating a top notch system of public
education. This will require, in combination, adequate resources to get the job done,
accountability for performance and sufficient flexibility to deliver instruction
effectively. Historically, all of these have been lacking.
How can we work to improve California's education system?
We should indicate by word and deed that the work of teachers is valued. We
should provide compensation sufficient to attract and retain top quality teachers
(with special attention to the challenges faced by high-cost-of-living districts).
We should work with State colleges and universities to ensure adequate opportunities
for teacher training. Then get serious about long term staff development that reinforces
state/district instructional goals.
I support maximum school choice for parents and their students within the public
school system (i.e., public school choice).
I oppose voucher proposals, which take public funds away from public schools in order
to support the individual choice some parents may make for a private or religious
school placement. My position is essentially the same on other school funding schemes
which, in essence, use public funds to subsidize private choices in lieu of K-12
As a legislator I intend to work closely with local districts (just as I have as
a Councilmember, Mayor and County Supervisor). I would make myself available, consult
on matters of shared concern and draw upon your expertise as appropriate.
I believe that the role of the state should be to set clear expectations for the
performance of the public schools but not to prescribe how the expectations should
be met. Such a relationship, however, must be predicated on real accountability. "
Joe Simitian on the Environment
"County Supervisor Joe Simitian is committed to environmental stewardship and
'As a Mayor and Supervisor, I've created open space; reclaimed 55 acres of
Baylands; improved water quality control operations and increased recycling. In the
Assembly, I'll seek regional and state solutions to issues that threaten our environment
and our quality of life.'"
Joe Simitian on Housing
"An adequate supply of affordable housing is obviously essential if we're going
to maintain a healthy economy. It's also essential, if we're ever going to manage
our commute traffic effectively, maintain economically diverse communities, and make
a place close by for the public safety and emergency services employees we'll need
in times of crisis."