Former California State Senator, Former California Secretary of Education


The Future of California Public Education



Gary Hart was a state legislator from Santa Barbara for twenty years (1974-1994), serving for over a decade as chairman of the Senate Education Committee.  He authored major legislation on many education subjects including:  school funding, charter schools, testing, and teacher professional development.


Hart served under Governor Gray Davis as Education Secretary for two years (1999-2000) and helped draft and enact into law much of California’s current academic accountability system.


Both before and after his many years in the State Capitol, Hart taught in many secondary and college settings.  Most recently, he created a successful honors humanities program at Kennedy High School, the largest and most racially diverse school in the Sacramento City Unified School District.


Hart currently serves on a number of boards including the Public Policy Institute of California, the Campaign for College Opportunity and the Cotsen Family Foundation.


Gary Hart has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University and a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from Harvard University. Hart and his wife have three grown daughters all of whom attended public schools in Santa Barbara and Sacramento.

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