Delaine Eastin

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Delaine Eastin
Delaine Eastin
Delaine Eastin
25th State Superintendent of Public Instruction of California
In office
January 2, 1995 – January 5, 2003
Governor Pete Wilson
Gray Davis
Preceded by David Dawson
Succeeded by Jack O'Connell
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 20th district
In office
Preceded by Alister McAlister
Succeeded by Liz Figueroa
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 18th district
In office
Preceded by Alister McAlister
Succeeded by Liz Figueroa
Personal details
Born (1947-08-20) August 20, 1947 (age 69)
San Diego, California, U.S.
Political party Democratic

Delaine Eastin (born August 20, 1947) has held positions as a California State Assemblymember,[1] State Superintendent of Public Instruction,[2] professor,[3] and businesswoman.[2] She was the first woman (and only, to date) to be elected as the California State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Eastin represented parts of Alameda and Santa Clara counties in the California State Assembly between 1986 and 1994. She is a member of the Democratic Party.

In November 2016, Eastin announced that she intends to be a candidate for Governor of California in the 2018 race.[4]

Early life[edit]

Eastin was born in San Diego, California, where her father served in the U.S. Navy. After her father completed his career in the Navy, the family moved to San Francisco where her mother had been born and raised. Delaine enrolled in elementary school in San Francisco, where she was one of 44 children in the second grade classroom. While the teacher was effective, it was impossible for her to attend to the needs of every child in the class. The family moved to San Carlos shortly thereafter, where Delaine enrolled in a school where she was one of 20 children. This was a life-changing experience, and Delaine was able to get the attention she needed to thrive academically. As she says, "I came by my interest in class size reduction from personal experience". A native Californian, Eastin received her bachelor's degree from the University of California, Davis, and her master's degree in political science from the University of California, Santa Barbara.[5]

Teaching and business career[edit]

After graduation, Eastin taught women's studies and political science at several California community colleges including Ventura College, DeAnza College and Canada College. Following seven years of teaching, she joined Pacific Telephone in 1979 as an accounting manager and then, as a corporate strategic planner, where she worked for the company that became Pacific Telesis Group and sought to recreate itself in response to the breakup of AT&T. As a corporate planner, she served on the team that advocated expansion into a then new technology area, cellular phone service, resulting in PacTel Mobile, finally acquired by Vodaphone.[6]

Early political career[edit]

Eastin began her political career in 1980 as a Member of the Union City Council. As a council member she represented the city on a variety of boards including as a Member of the Alameda County Library Commission, which she chaired for 5 of the 6 years she served on it. She also represented the city on the Solid Waster Management Authority, where she successfully advocated for a Recycling Subcommittee. She chaired the SWMA and she represented Union City on the Association of Bay Area Governments. In 1986, communities stretching from San Jose to Union City elected her to the Legislature, after her service on the Union City Council. When she joined the Assembly, she authored innovative bills to improve schools, increase use of recycled materials, improve transportation systems, and crack down on unlicensed contractors.[5]

Eastin's leadership garnered the "Rookie of the Year" acknowledgement from the California Journal, a non-partisan analytical journal that reported on the State Legislature.[7]

Eastin served four terms in the State Assembly, representing parts of Alameda and Santa Clara counties. She chaired the Assembly Education Committee, where she authored and shaped legislation to reform California's public schools in order to make the state economically competitive. Her legislation included bills creating charter schools, promoting parental involvement, and enhancing school safety. Her other legislation reduced the bureaucratic hurdles for approval of new school construction and placed the largest school bond in history on the ballot, which voters approved in 1992. She also fought successfully to increase financial accountability of school districts—to prevent bankruptcies like the one in Richmond.

Eastin also received "Legislator of the Year" awards from the Faculty Association of California Community Colleges,[8] the California School Boards Association (several times) and the California Media Library Educators Association. The California Congress of the PTA, and the American Electronics Association also have recognized Eastin for her efforts on behalf of children. She received the prestigious Crystal Apple Award from the American Library Association. She was given the Inspirational Leader Award from Kidango. She received alumni awards from both UC Davis and UC Santa Barbara.[9]

State Superintendent of Public Instruction[edit]

During her term, legal action was taken against Eastin and her department from several employees.[10] The parties reached a settlement in which the Department of Education paid $4.25 million in exchange for a full release of all claims. The Department was criticized for spending state funds on fighting these lawsuits.[11]

Eastin was unable to run for a third term in 2002 due to term limits and was succeeded by former State Senator Jack O'Connell.

In 2002, a school was named after her in Union City, California, Delaine Eastin Elementary.[12]

Teaching, Consulting and Advisory Career[edit]

After leaving office as State Superintendent, Eastin became the first Executive Director of the National Institute of Educational Leadership in Washington, DC from 2002-2005. Eastin returned to California to teach at Mills College from 2004-2008 as Distinguished Visiting Professor of Education where Eastin taught courses in Public Policy, Education Administrative Theory, Education Leadership, and Politics.[13]

Since 2008 Eastin has been a speaker and board member on issues of education policy, nutrition, and electing woman to public office. Eastin was board president of Close the Gap CA,[14] a campaign to increase the number of progressive women in the California Legislature by recruiting talented, progressive women to run for targeted winnable seats.[15]

In addition Eastin continues her board work on the UC Center Sacramento Advisory Board, the National Center for Learning and Civic Engagement Executive Board (the Education Commission of the States),[16] the Chancellor's Women in STEM board at UC Davis,[17] the Edible Schoolyard Advisory Board,[18] Educate Our State (Chair),[19] the School for Integrated Academics and Technologies Governing Board (SIAtech),[20] the Center for Nutrition Education Advisory Board at UC Davis (Chair),[21] the Yolo County Board for Court Appointed Student Advocates (CASA),[22] and the Capital Public Radio Board.[23]

Honors and awards[edit]

During and after Eastin's career, she was awarded numerous awards and honors including:


  1. ^ "Inventory of the Delaine Eastin Papers". California State Archives Office of the Secretary of State. May 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Full Biography for Delaine Eastin". League of Women Voters of California. 13 May 1998. 
  3. ^ "Delaine Eastin". Mills College. 2016. 
  4. ^ John Myers (Nov 1, 2016). "Former state schools chief Delaine Eastin says she's running for governor in 2018". Los Angeles Times. 
  5. ^ a b "Biography: Delaine Eastin". California Voter Foundation. 1994. 
  6. ^ "Gevirtz + Delaine Eastin, Former CA State Superintendent of Public Instruction". University of California, Santa Barbara. 31 January 2014. 
  7. ^ "The Top 6 A Group that includes Marian Bergeson, Rookie-of-the-Year Delanie Eastin..." (PDF). California Journal. July 1988. 
  8. ^ "State Official to Speak at SMC Graduation" (PDF). California Digital Newspaper Collection, Corsair. 19 April 1995. 
  9. ^ "Distinguished Alumni Award" (PDF). University of California Santa Barbara Alumni Association. 1997. 
  10. ^ "California Department of Education Agrees to Pay the United States up to $3.3 Million to Settle Whistle Blower Fraud Allegations" (Press release). U.S. Department of Education. 19 September 2002. 
  11. ^ Dan Walters (30 June 2007). "Education dollars squandered in courtroom". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved May 26, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Honoring the dedication of the Delaine Eastin Elementary School in Union City, California". Congressional Record Volume 148, Number 29. 14 March 2002. 
  13. ^ "Mills College - Delaine Eastin". Mills College. 2016. 
  14. ^ "Q&A With Delaine Eastin". Close the Gap CA. 13 January 2014. 
  15. ^ "Close The Gap CA - Why We're Here". Close the Gap CA. 2016. 
  16. ^ "Executive Board". Education Commission of the States. 2016. 
  17. ^ "Who We Are". Empowering Women In STEM. 2016. 
  18. ^ "Our Team - The Edible Schoolyard". The Edible Schoolyard. 2016. 
  19. ^ "Board of Directors - Educate our State". Educate our State. 2016. 
  20. ^ "Board of Directors - SIAtech". School for Integrated Academics and Technologies Governing Board. 2016. 
  21. ^ "Advisory Board". UC Davis Center for Nutrition Education. 2016. 
  22. ^ "Court Appointed Student Advocates". Yolo County Board. 2016. 
  23. ^ "Board of Directors". Capital Public Radio. 2016. 
  24. ^ "Alumni News Archive: Gevirtz + Delaine Eastin". UC Santa Barbara. 2014. 
  25. ^ "AASL President's Crystal Apple". American Association of School Librarians. 2016. 
  26. ^ "Former state superintendent and alumna wins UC Davis Medal". UC Davis. 8 April 2015. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Alister McAlister
California State Assemblywoman, 18th District
Succeeded by
Liz Figueroa
Preceded by
Alister McAlister
California State Assemblywoman, 20th District
Succeeded by
Liz Figueroa
Preceded by
David Dawson
California State Superintendent of Public Instruction
January 2, 1995 – January 5, 2003
Succeeded by
Jack O'Connell