Citing his leadership in improving school safety and creating the largest network of after-school programs in the nation, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti today endorsed state Superintendent Tom Torlakson.
"Tom Torlakson is dedicated to the safety of our children and our schools," Mayor Garcetti said. "I support Torlakson because of the work he is doing to combat bullying, expand after-school programs, and keep gangs, drugs and guns out of our schools."
"Mayor Garcetti is a champion for LA's youth," Torlakson said. "His effort to provide summer jobs opened new doors for thousands of students eager for a taste of the working world. I'm very pleased to have his support and to work in partnership with him for a better future for LA's kids."
As a high school coach for over 25 years, Torlakson experienced first-hand how students benefit from sports and other after-school programs. While serving in the state Assembly, he wrote legislation to establish the After School Learning and Safe Neighborhoods Partnerships Program, which provided $50 million for after-school partnerships in elementary, middle and junior-high schools.
In 2006, Torlakson took the lead to ensure successful implementation of the after-school programs California voters approved through Proposition 49. Torlakson wrote legislation that created a new framework that streamlined administration of the program and provided more local flexibility. As a result, the number of schools offering the programs has grown from a few dozen schools in 1998 to more than 4,000 schools, serving more than 500,000 students.
A second-generation public school teacher, Torlakson is seeking a second term as State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Torlakson uses his classroom experience to make schools safer, help more students graduate with real-world skills, and put more decision-making over education dollars in the hands in the hands of parents, teachers and communities.