Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools David W. Gordon presented testimony regarding proposed education reforms on September 9, 2004, at a statewide hearing in Los Angeles.
Superintendent Gordon appeared before the California Performance Review (CPR) Commission, which recently released extensive recommendations concerning state involvement in education, training, and volunteerism.
Superintendent Gordon specifically addressed the CPR recommendation that K-12 educational infrastructure be operated on a regional, rather than countywide, basis. In delivering comments regarding CPR recommendation, ETV05 — Regionalize K-12 Educational Infrastructure, he discussed the valuable role locally operated county offices of education play in the delivery of quality educational services.
Said Superintendent Gordon, "I am here this morning to tell the story of how county offices provide leadership and support to districts and schools in the areas of academic assistance and fiscal accountability, and direct services to tens of thousands of the state's most vulnerable children." He illustrated how county offices are already facilitating and supporting substantial educational reform in the state of California.
"I place the emphasis on leadership and service because in this vast and diverse state, just 58 county offices respond to an endless array of needs with diligence and imagination," Gordon said. He pointed out that in the 2003–04 school year California served approximately 6.3 million K-12 students—more than the combined population of 37 of the nation's 50 states.
"Given the vastness and diversity of our state," he said, establishing a new system of regional offices to administer educational services would still require local field offices. He highlighted key programs—such as school improvement "turnaround teams"—that are achieving success through the work of local county offices.
He concluded by saying, "I would encourage the Commission to look at the ways county offices are providing leadership and service today, and to amend your recommendations to foster further regionalization within the current structure."