Autry Brings The Basics Back To Education
04/24/2007

Fresno Mayor Alan Autry, a driving force behind education reform, will present testimony on AB 1403, breakthrough legislation that would establish the San Joaquin Valley District Improvement Pilot Program, finally empowering district superintendents to do their jobs.

Authored by a unique Central Valley Assembly delegation of Juan Arambula (D), Mike Villines (R), Nicole Parra (D), Greg Aghazarian (D), Joe Coto (D), Tom Berryhill (D), Bill Maze (D), and Alan Nakanishi (D), Senators Dave Cogdill (R), Jeff Denham (R), this legislation crosses traditional party lines to offer real solutions to the real problems facing Central Valley students.

Mayor Autry commented, “School reform will only succeed if district and school leaders are given greater authority to design their own paths to success. In real words, this legislation finally reconnects the people with the public school system to ensure the very best outcome--where local folks with the most to gain or lose have an actual shot at solving the serious problems plaguing our schools. It’s time to roll up our sleeves and bring everyone to the same table. Kids don’t get a second chance for us to do it right--- we have to do right by them now.”

He continued, “If state officials spent less time monitoring the minutiae of the Education Code and categorical restrictions, and more time ensuring that schools prepare students well, we’d all be better off.”

This bill would provide a single point of local accountability. Under this bill, County Superintendents would serve as that single point of local accountability.

Testimony will be held Wednesday, April 25, 2007 in Room 126 of the State Capitol at 1:30 pm.

Also expected to offer their support of this landmark legislation will be: California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley; County Superintendents Sally Frazier (Madera), Jim Vidak (Tulare), Rick Wentworth (San Joaquin) and Tom Changnon (Stanislaus) and John Stankovich (Kings); Fresno COMPACT; Fresno County Superintendent, Larry Powell; Former Fresno County Superintendent, Pete Mehas; Greater Fresno Area Chamber of Commerce; Mayor Alan Autry; Parent Institute for Quality Education; Association of Mexican American Educators; Latino Educational Issues Roundtable.

Mayor Autry will be available following the hearing for comments.

CONTACT: Rhonda Jorn, Public Affairs Manager (559) 621-7777

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