Government / Politics

California County Boards of Education awards Assemblyman Robert Rivas “2020 Outstanding Legislator”

Rivas given honor for working to improve California’s public schools and his support of local counties and school boards.

Information provided by the Office of Assemblymember Robert Rivas

On Nov. 24, the California County Boards of Education (CCBE) presented State Assemblyman Robert Rivas the 2020 Outstanding Legislator Award for his leadership in working to improve California’s public schools and his support of local counties and school boards.

According to a recent press release, Rivas was nominated by Janet Wohlgemuth, member of the Monterey County Board of Education. She gave the award to Rivas in a small ceremony at 12 p.m.

“It is an honor to be recognized for this award by the California County Boards of Education,” said Rivas. “Education is personal to me. I come from a family of educators—both my mom and aunt are teachers in Assembly District 30—and prior to becoming an Assemblymember, I worked as an adjunct professor at Gavilan College. This is an incredibly difficult job, made more complicated by inadequate funding and a lack of teachers. I’m proud of my accomplishments to increase funding for schools and combat the teacher shortage over the past two years in the Assembly, and I look forward to continuing to support educators and students in the upcoming session, especially during this unprecedented period in our state’s history.”

Highlights of Asm. Rivas’s education accomplishments:

  • Proposed the Golden State Teacher Grant program (AB 1623), which was adopted as part of the 2019-20 State Budget. The budget allocated $89 million to provide a one-time, $20,000 grant for prospective teachers who commit to teach for four years in hard to staff subjects such as bilingual education, special education, and STEM courses, in schools acutely impacted by the teacher shortage.
  • Obtained a $5 million grant for the ground breaking and building of the Salinas soccer complex, which contributes to the overall health and wellness of youth in the community.
  • AB 1783, the Farmworker Housing Act of 2019, was based in large part on addressing the homelessness crisis affecting many students in California. Assemblymember Rivas was motivated by disturbing statistics about students in farmworker communities: the percentage of students who are homeless in Monterey County is three times that of San Francisco; more than one out of every three students is homeless in the Salinas Elementary School District; and in 12 schools in rural Monterey County, more than one out of every five students is homeless.
  • Facilitates opportunities for local young people to interact with other prominent government officials and important activists, such as Dolores Huerta.
  • Named Evelia Morales Rosso of Gilroy as Assembly District’s 30th Woman of the Year. She is a retired teacher with a 30-year tenure and a lifelong commitment to advocacy in education, especially for immigrants and under-privileged children and families.
  • Organized an education tour in the District, where he brought Chair of the Education Committee Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell, other legislators, public officials and stakeholders to examine the state-of-the-art facilities and programs at San Benito High School. The tour focused on Career and Technical Education, special education programs and the school’s upgraded facilities obtained through bond measures.

During COVID-19

  • Supported and voted to keep full funding of K-12 public schools in the 2020 California budget.
  • Sent a letter to U.S. Representative Jimmy Panetta, requesting he urge the U.S. Secretary of Education to provide clear and effective special education guidelines for LEAs and school districts in California.
  • Signed-on to letters from his colleagues requesting that school districts provide meals to-go for its students and that the Governor extend the expenditure deadline for the After School Education and Safety program’s budget.

BenitoLink Staff