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Gov. Jerry Brown names new education advisor

January 15, 2013 |  3:37 pm

Gov. Jerry Brown has named his new chief education advisor.

Karen Stapf Walters, a former teacher, state Senate aide and advocate for school administrators, will advise the governor on education policy, in addition to serving as executive director of the California State Board of Education, Brown's office announced Tuesday. The latter post requires board approval. The compensation is $175,000 a year.

Stapf Walters will be a critical voice in the administration as Brown proposes a radical shift in the way elementary and secondary schools are funded, seeking to direct more money to districts that serve poor students and English learners, who cost more to educate than other students.

Brown wants to give local districts more control over the money they receive from the state, eliminating mandates for smaller classes, spending on new technology and dozens of other requirements set in Sacramento.

Stapf Walters succeeds Sue Burr, who retired at the end of 2012. Brown appointed Burr to the state Board of Education this week.

Stapf Walters was a longtime advocate for the Assn. of California School Administrators, most recently serving as the group's interim executive director.


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--Michael J. Mishak in Sacramento