Twenty-two students representing Northwood, Irvine, Woodbridge, University and Creekside high schools, along with administrative staff, attended a PTSA-funded trip to Sacramento on March 29 to advocate an increase in the education budget.
"High school students will soon be our future legislators," said Lisa McMains, legislative action chair of Northwood High's PTSA. "We want to afford several students the opportunity to experience some of the steps in state legislation and meet with our local and state representatives to hopefully influence the lawmaking process. This is a great opportunity to engage in the process and conquer student apathy."
Led by Bob Blatner, the Irvine Unified School District's lobbyist, the students met several key government staff members and legislators, including education policy consultant John Mockler, who authored Proposition 98; Rick Simpson, deputy chief of staff to the Assembly speaker; Assemblyman Don Wagner (R-Irvine); representatives of the Legislative Analyst's Office; and the staff of state Sen. Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto). The students also briefly encountered Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) during a press conference.