SAN BERNARDINO: Congressman Baca To Host Summit on Ways To Improve Education For Special Needs Students

Posted By Staff


Panel Discussions Focus on Ways to Improve Education for Special Needs Students in Inland Area Schools


San Bernardino, CA – Congressman Joe Baca (D-Rialto) hosted his annual Education Summit, at California State University San Bernardino.  The theme of this year’s conference was “The California and National Landscape: Challenges and Opportunities in Special Education.”  At the summit, parents, educators, public officials, and business and community leaders all had an opportunity to interact with leading experts in the special education field, and discuss ways to provide greater opportunity at success for our students in the Inland Empire.

“We must continue to improve educational opportunities for all students to give our young people the best shot at success in life, and better ensure America’s future economic competitiveness in the global marketplace,” said Rep. Baca.  “Today’s summit was an excellent opportunity for local stakeholders to discuss ways to achieve significant education reforms for our special needs students.  I sincerely thank all the parents, teachers, administrators and other community leaders who helped to make this a meaningful event.” 


Panelists and speakers at today’s summit included: John Riley, with the National Education Association; Dr. Michael Gerber, from the University of California, Santa Barbara; Robert Morgan, with the California Department of Education; Barbara Schulman, with the California Teachers Association; Dr. Ronald Powell, with the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools; Dr. Judy Sylva, from the California State University San Bernardino; Dr. Sheri Franklin-Guy, from the California State University San Bernardino; and Maureen Eckholdt, from Upland High School.


“We have 3 million students with disabilities in the United States, and 600,000 of them are in California,” said Dr. Ronald Powell, Special Education Local Plan Area Administrator for the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools.  “We are being asked to do more in special education and general education as a whole.  In spite of our limited resources, we need to do everything we can to provide these students with the very best education possible.”


“I am committed to work towards education reform that better funds all of America’s schools, promotes innovation, creates high expectations for teachers and students, and encourages development of 21st Century skills,” concluded Rep. Baca.  “I look forward to continuing to partner with the entire Inland community, as we work to provide our students with the very best educational opportunities possible.”


Rep. Baca has introduced legislation to improve education on a number of fronts, including the RETAIN Act, which allows school districts to transfer funds in order to save teacher jobs.  He also has introduced a bill to remove all mandated testing provisions from the No Child Left Behind Act, as well as legislation to mandate minimum requirements of physical education and nutrition education for students.