California Educator

October 2014

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Profile LEGISLATOR PROFILE: Meet Sen. Richard Lara S E N . R I C H A R D L A R A (D-Bell Gardens) was elected in November 2012 to represent the 33rd Senate District. Son of a blue-collar immigrant family who was raised in East Los Angeles, the senator served in a number of leg- islative staff positions before his election to the Assembly, and later to the Senate. As a legislative staffer, he was an architect of legislation to help immigrant students secure scholarship support. T h e e l e c t e d c h a i r o f t h e L a t i n o L e g i s l a t ive C a u c u s , S e n . L a ra c h a m - p i o n s e d u c a t i o n a l e q u i t y, a n d c i v i l a n d h u m a n r i g h t s . T h e s e n a t o r h a s a u t h o re d l e g i s l a t i o n t o i m p rove s t u - dents' access to education, to protect a w o m a n ' s r i g h t t o t a k e p r e g n a n c y l e ave , a n d t o e n s u r e g r e a t e r gove r n - ment transparency and oversight. What did you do before becoming a lawmaker? I have been committed to public service from my days at San Diego State University as a student government leader to my time working in various capacities in the State Legislature. I served as chief of staff, district director, and communications director in Los Angeles area legislative offices, which provided me great training for serving my constituents in the Senate. What led you to run for office? I got involved in politics as a result of the passage of 1994's Prop. 187. (Prop. 187 established a state-run citizenship screening system and prohibited undocumented citi- zens from using health care, public education and other social services.) It was a direct at- tack on immigrant families like mine. From that point on, I committed myself to fighting injus- tice at the ballot box and through legislation. What steps should the Legislature take to help schools succeed? Often, outdated laws stand in the way of schools and teachers offering the best education for our students. It is important the Legislature repeal obsolete laws like Prop. 227. (Prop. 227 requires limited English proficient students to be taught in English, effectively eliminating "bilingual" classes in most cases.) Obsolete laws create obstacles in the classroom. They don't empower teachers to offer the best instruction possible. What advice would you give educators about working with legislators? Come visit our offices. Contact us. Tell us about the challenges you are facing in your classrooms and how we can help. We need help to understand your everyday challeng- es and opportunities so we can provide the resources needed to help improve our public education system. What are your hopes (or goals) for public education? Public education opens doors for all students, regardless of the circumstances they come from. It is the reason I am a State Senator today. I firmly believe all students deserve ac- cess to a high-quality education, which is why it is critical that we close the achievement gap between students of color and their peers. C O M P I L E D B Y L E N F E L D M A N CUI.EDU/INDUCTION Concordia's Clear Induction Credential program supports new teachers in clearing their Education Specialist, Multi- or Single- Subject Credential. Participating teachers may clear more than one credential at the same time. CUI's program is the clear choice because we: • Offer online and traditional program options • Accommodate new teachers' busy schedules • Provide fl exible, individualized programs • Facilitate sharing of resources among teachers • Advance collaboration with local districts and private schools Participants may be eligible for fi nancial aid and credits may be used towards a graduate degree. For more information, call 949-214-3338, email or visit us online. The Clear Choice.

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