Today, 29 IUSD students from Creekside, Irvine, Northwood, Portola, University and Woodbridge high schools, traveled to Sacramento to discuss issues impacting education with state legislators and other influential policymakers. Superintendent Terry Walker, Board Members Lauren Brooks and Sharon Wallin, Irvine Teachers Association President Teri Sorey, and a handful of teachers, and PTA representatives accompanied the students.
The day started with a brief meeting in the Capitol Building, followed by the option to attend either a policy or budget subcommittee hearing. Next, they met with California’s Deputy Superintendent for Public Instruction Kai Jackson, who discussed education and state and federal political landscapes. Students made the lunch hour a working lunch by attending an informational meeting hosted by the California School Employees Association. The group rounded out the afternoon, with an information hearing on data privacy protection and meetings with Governor Gavin Newsome’s education advisor, Sacramento Bee reporter Sam Stanton, and lobbyists from various organizations representing education.
Developing the Next Generation of Leaders
To prepare for the trip to Sacramento, students met weekly for one month. During this time, they met with IUSD Board Members, Superintendent Walker, District leadership, PTA leaders and others to learn more about education issues and priorities, IUSD’s budget, the LCFF and LCAP, legislative priorities and gain a better understanding of local and state governing.
University High School alumni and former IUSD Student Board Member Aidan Arasasingham recently wrote to the Board of Education to express how the Sacramento student advocacy trips continue to benefit him as a student leader at University of California, Los Angeles. Below is an excerpt from his letter.
“It's funny to think that even at UCLA, I'm still dealing with some of the same education issues. I lead government advocacy for the student association and am in Sacramento frequently as a result. I often reflect on how much my path was shaped by the IUSD Sacramento advocacy trips. One of the main issues I'm leading is the push for is facilities reinvestment, just like Measure E! So much of what's going on right now reminds me of how IUSD shaped me.”