IUSD high school students arrive in Sacramento to meet with state lawmakers and other VIPs

Joined by a handful of teachers, administrators and school board members, 22 high school students from IUSD have flown all the way up to Sacramento this morning to discuss issues impacting education with state legislators and other influential policymakers.

Here’s a shot we just received from the group, which has a full day ahead.

And here’s another shot of the students getting a quick briefing from Bob Blattner of the lobbying firm Blattner & Associates, who will be coordinating today’s schedule.

Organized by PTA members and parent volunteers, the trek to the state Capitol has become an annual tradition for civic-minded Irvine students, who get to advocate for important educational causes and learn more about the legislative process at the same time. This year’s excursion was previewed on the Orange County Register’s website by Irvine High School senior Katherine Carr, who is also a member of the group. Carr plans to recap the day for the Register, so be sure to look for that. In the meantime, check back with us for updates.

10:30 a.m.

The students meet on the floor of the State Assembly with Rick Simpson, who serves as deputy chief of staff and education adviser to Assembly Speaker John Pérez. Simpson is often characterized as the Assembly’s education finance guru.

11:15 a.m.

The picture’s a little grainy, but that’s Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, chair of the Assembly Education Committee.

4:00 p.m.

We’ve just received a few more photos from our team in Sacramento. Here, IUSD high schoolers sit down with veteran consultant John Mockler, who authored the landmark education spending initiative known as Proposition 98.

And here, the students engage in a final briefing with Roger Mackensen of the state Senate Republican Caucus, Paul Warren from the Public Policy Institute of California and Edgar Cabral from the California Legislative Analyst’s Office.

Have a safe trip back, students and staff. And much thanks to Wendy Bokota for sharing these images.