February 17, 2016
State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Appoints Division Directors for Government Affairs and School Facilities and Transportation
SACRAMENTO — State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today that he has appointed new Directors for the California Department of Education's (CDE) Government Affairs Division and School Facilities and Transportation Services Division.
Debra Brown, a veteran in education legislation and policy, will lead the Government Affairs Division and serve as the CDE's liaison with local, state, and federal elected officials and government agencies.
Juan Mireles, an expert in school facilities funding, will direct the School Facilities and Transportation Services Division.
"These are two top experts in their fields, and I look forward to the great work they will do for the CDE team," Torlakson said. "These Divisions provide outstanding service to the public, elected officials, and California schools."
Brown recently served as Director of Education Policy at Children Now, a non-partisan national, state, and local research, policy development, and advocacy organization.
She helped implement Children Now's education policy agenda, including the organization's work on school finance reform, Common Core, assessment and accountability issues, and early childhood readiness. She also worked as a senior legislative advocate at the California School Boards Association (CSBA) and served as their lead advocate on funding and finance.
As CDE's Division Director for Government Affairs, Brown will be responsible for the administration of all departmental activities relating to state and federal legislation. Brown replaces former Division Director Monique Ramos, who is now a lobbyist.
Mireles was a Principal Program and Budget Analyst at the State Department of Finance, where he supervised analysts responsible for budgets on school facilities, charter schools, and teacher credentialing.
He has worked in school facilities since he began his state career at the Office of Public School Construction (OPSC) in 1998. The OPSC is under the authority of the state's Department of General Services. As staff to the State Allocation Board, OPSC implements and administers a $35 billion voter-approved school facilities construction program. Mireles later served as OPSC's Deputy Executive Officer.
The CDE School Facilities and Transportation Services Division assists school districts and their communities in creating well-planned, K-12 learning environments in safe, clean, and up-to-date schools. Transportation services assist school districts, school bus contractors, transit agencies, and farm labor vehicle operators in providing the safest and most efficient transportation services.
Mireles replaces former Division Director Kathleen Moore, who retired.
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Tom Torlakson —
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100