First and Only Female State Superintendent of Public Instruction Speaks at Irvine Graduate Campus

For eight years Delaine Eastin Served as the California State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI). She is the first and only woman in history elected to this position.

On Tuesday, November 11, Delaine Eastin delivered a presentation titled, “California Education: Will We Be Equal to the Challenge Presented by the Global Economy?” She addressed such topics such as why California is near the bottom in per-pupil spending but near the top in per-prisoner expenditures.

“Although our state constitution explicitly says that the first priority shall be the education of children through college, too few policy makers seem aware of that promise, Eastin said. “Budgets are statements of values— our values are not the same as those who came out of the Great Depression and the Great War and invested in their children. We have research about what works in education, but we lack the courage, vision, and heart of previous generations to follow what we know works.”

While Eastin was superintendent, she managed more than 40 percent of the California budget and oversaw the education of 6.1 million children. She advocated for universal preschool, full-day mandatory kindergarten, reduction in K-3 class size, a longer school year, better technology, improved nutrition for children, and many other major educational initiatives.

More than 50 guests attended the event, which was cohosted with the UC Santa Barbara Alumni Association.

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