Gov. Pete Wilson on Tuesday abandoned the controversial reappointment of state Board of Education President Joseph Stein.
On the eve of a Senate Rules Committee confirmation hearing today for Stein, 62, of Indian Wells, the Wilson Administration decided to pull back on the appointment in the face of growing opposition from teacher and parent groups.
“They saw he didn’t have the support in the committee and just decided to let him run out the remainder of his term,” which ends next year, Wilson spokesman J. P. Tremblay said.
Wilson earlier this year reappointed Stein, who helped prompt the investigation that led to the conviction of former state Supt. of Public Instruction Bill Honig on conflict of interest charges earlier this year. He was also a prime supporter of a successful lawsuit that broadened the powers of the state board.
But Stein’s actions prompted opposition from the state Congress of Parents, Teachers and Students, which in a letter to the Rules Committee said the “PTA views this effort as a power grab that is most detrimental to the education of our children.” Teacher groups also opposed Stein.
Stein said he was sorry that he would not get a hearing. “I believe there have been some misrepresentations, but we really haven’t had an opportunity to get our point of view out.”
The 11-member state Board of Education has three vacancies to be filled by Wilson. Stein said he would serve until early next year but had not fixed a date for his departure. Had he been confirmed, Stein would have served a four-year term.