Skip to comments.CA: Education post, created in 1990, has little power
Posted on 04/30/2005 10:16:13 AM PDT by NormsRevenge
The state secretary of education is an unusual Cabinet-level position that controls no department or agencies and has no real power beyond advising the governor and being a "bully pulpit."
The office was originally secretary for child development and education and was created by Gov. Pete Wilson in December 1990, before he was sworn in. Wilson appointed a Democrat, Maureen DiMarco, to the position.
Wilson was believed to want his own education official to counter then-Superintendent of Public Instruction Bill Honig, a Democrat who was allied with the teachers union.
Gray Davis, a Democrat, was elected governor in 1998 and shortened the title. He appointed former state Sen. Gary Hart, one of the most influential people to hold the post.
The 11-member Board of Education appointed by the governor has become increasing powerful since court decisions in a lawsuit against Honig in the 1990s weakened the superintendent of public instruction.
The court decisions generally limited the role of the superintendent to implementing the policy of the board, which is considered the real statewide power in education.
That's because CTA calls the shots in this state.
Don't even think that anyone else does.
If Reiner were to run against Arnold and win, this position would probably take on new meaning.
I've been keeping an eye on Reiner for years because of his position on universal pre-K, which I am very much against.
Now, as California's incoming education secretary, the blunt-talking former U.S. attorney is set to bring his unflinching some say autocratic style to Sacramento.
There, he will enjoy considerably more power than his soon-to-be predecessor, Richard Riordan, who possessed limited authority within the administration and held little sway outside of it.
Not only will Bersin, a Democrat, serve as Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's top education advisor, he will sit on the state Board of Education a dual role that will vastly expand his authority and tighten Schwarzenegger's grip on public education. Riordan did not sit on the education board.
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