Lance Christensen, a candidate for the California Superintendent of Public Instruction in the 2022 election, will be holding a Reforming Education Townhall event in Palm Desert on April 10, 2023. The event is open to all that have concerns about the future of K-12 education in California and the goal, as per the California Policy Center, “is to facilitate a productive conversation to formulate policies and action steps for both your local community and the state to advance education reform.”
A 6th generation Californian, married and the father of five, Christensen hails from Sacramento County, but has attended and spoken at DSUSD board meetings and to our group of education watch-dogs in Indio in the past.
Christensen graduated from BYU and spent a short time as a 4th grade educational assistant in Colorado before enrolling in Pepperdine’s Grad school for Public Policy, where he studied Education Theory. After Pepperdine, Christensen was an education consultant for the California State Senate for 15 years. Christensen oversaw the budget for the newly formed Department of Juvenile Justice which brought educational options to the State’s incarcerated youth. Lance also helped develop proposition 98, which established minimum funding levels for California schools, ran for his local school board, and served on that district’s finance committee. Christensen is “recognized as an education policy and budgetary expert, he is the Vice President of Education Policy and Government Relations at the California Policy Center.”
Christensen was “one of the principal architects of the recent school choice initiative proposal in California,” as well as “the inaugural director of Reason Foundation’s Pension Reform Project.” which set “the stage for major reforms in state and local retirement programs across the country. Christensen’s research and commentary on education issues and state and municipal fiscal policy is regularly published in national and local publications, and he appears frequently on radio, television and podcasts.”
Christensen stated his reason and intent for the Take Back California Education event:
I am planning a statewide tour this spring to meet with anyone else interested in the future of K-12 education in California. My intent is to put all options for reform on the table and discuss them vigorously among those who not only care about our children but are also ready to roll up their sleeves and take on the institution that has failed us for far too long. Once we come to some form of agreement, we can collectively decide the best legislative and political way forward.
The event will feature both dialogue and debate and Christensen stresses that:
This is not a listening tour, a series of lectures, or gripe sessions. It’s a large-scale focus group I will actively moderate in two-hour sessions. I want to invite open dialogue that will allow us to diagnose the problem and engage with attendees in a lively exchange on potential changes, improvements, and/or structural reforms necessary to realign our educational priorities and trajectory for a thriving 21st century California. I welcome sharp opinions and informed disagreement about viable, possible or quixotic alternatives at every stop.
Palm Desert is just one stop on a tour for Christensen, as he has, or wants, regional forums throughout the state. After gathering ideas and input from people like you and I (parents, advocates, and concerned citizens) statewide, Christensen intends to go over the results with his CalPolicy team and develop “a set of comprehensive education policy proposals likely to gain broad support among Californians.”
The Palm Desert forum will be on April 10th from 11 am to 1 pm at the East Valley Republican Women Patriots store at 73995 El Paseo, Palm Desert, CA. If possible, please scan the QR code in the image below to RSVP. Feel free to share!