As a California legislator, I continue my unwavering support to quality and equal education opportunities for all. As a long-time advocate for education, I worked to bolster public education materials, strengthen curriculum and improve public access to school board meetings while serving on the Berryessa Union School District from 2002 to 2007.
Even though the Governor’s 2018 budget proposal will bring funding back to pre-recession time, schools are still struggling to ensure that their budget reflects actual operational and service needs. Through working closely with education experts and local public schools, it came to my attention that public schools spend the same amount on utility bills as they do on books and supplies annually.
In an effort to generate savings for public schools, I authored AB 2068 to ask the California Public Utilities Commission to evaluate, and report findings on the feasibility of establishing a special discounted electric and gas rate for California schools. California schools are currently being charged at the same rate as other commercial businesses and energy costs are one of the top five most costly expenses for schools. California schools spend an average of $700 million on energy per year. Schools in poor districts are especially suffering and any financial relief for schools will result in more dollars toward student services and education.
Another issue that concerns me is ensuring that children in our community have access to adequate and nutritious food. As students finish another school year, summer break is often seen as a time of joyous vacation and outdoor activities. But, summer can be a difficult time for low-income families whose children no longer have access to free and reduced meals at school. With that in mind, I was happy to speak on the important issue of food insecurity and volunteer at the Summer Meals for Kids free summer lunch program hosted by the Second Harvest Food Bank and the San Jose Public Library Educational Park Branch last week on June 22, 2018 at 12 p.m. - 1 p.m. The Educational Park Branch will host this program from June 11 to August 10, 2018, Monday thru Friday, to fuel our children's futures through healthy meals, fun activities, and new friends.
There are resources available to provide children from low-income areas free and nutritious meals through federally funded meal programs such as the Summer Meal Program. Of the many meal service sites, my office will be volunteering at the Robert Randall Elementary School site in Milpitas on July 18 and July 19, 2018. To see a California state map of meal service sites and to find your nearest site please visit: https://www.cde.ca.gov/ds/sh/sn/summersites.asp.
In this newsletter you will find my mid-year legislative update, past events, and my upcoming events. For more information please visit my website or contact my District Office at (408) 262-2501.
Assemblymember, 25th District