FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Monday, April 12, 2010
CONTACT: John Shallman (818-728-4200)
CONCORD--The California Nurses Association has endorsed Assemblymember Tom Torlakson's campaign for State Superintendent of Public Instruction. The election for the non-partisan office will take place on June 8, 2010.
"We are endorsing Tom because we know he will fight to improve our students' health as State Superintendent of Public Instruction," said Malinda Markowitz, R.N., Co-President of the California Nurses Association and its national arm, the National Nurses Organizing Committee. "Tom knows healthy students are more likely to succeed in the classroom. He has been a leader in removing junk food from our schools, improving physical education programs, and seeking to ensure every child has access to health care."
"I want to thank the California Nurses Association for supporting my campaign and for sharing my concerns for improving student health. In my time as a teacher, coach, and policy maker, I have been committed to fighting for an education system that serves the whole child: not just their minds, but also their mental and physical wellness," said Torlakson. "We know a lack of access to health care, and its resulting chronic health problems--like diabetes and obesity--lead to more student illnesses, less time in school, and a reduced ability to absorb instruction."
"I believe the State Superintendent should be a leading advocate for our children's health because a hungry, sick, or depressed child cannot learn as well as a healthy child. That's why student health must be an education reform priority," added Torlakson. "I look forward to working with the California Nurses Association and my supporters to ensure every student in every school can have access to a school nurse, nutritious school meals, and quality physical education programs. Healthier students do better in school, so any effort to reduce the drop-out rate and achievement gap also needs to address these health issues."
A second-generation teacher, Torlakson has applied his experience as a science teacher and high school coach to reform the way public education works as a member of the State Legislature. Torlakson has acted to improve student nutrition and physical education, give schools the funding support they need to ensure academic achievement, and reduce the dropout rate. He has also worked diligently to protect education funding.
As Superintendent for Public Instruction, Torlakson will work to ensure parents can send their children to a safe, high-quality school in their own neighborhood. He also wants to prepare our youth for the real world after high school by expanding career and technical education for high school students, protecting college-prep courses and arts and music programs, fighting to reduce the drop-out rate and close the achievement gap, and making sure the management of local school districts measures up to the highest standards of excellence.
Torlakson has also been endorsed by former State Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin, California Federation of Teachers, California School Employees Association, California Teachers Association, California National Organization for Women PAC, California Professional Firefighters, California Young Democrats, and many other individuals and organizations. More information on Torlakson's campaign and his endorsers can be found at www.TomTorlakson.com.