FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CONTACT: Craig Cheslog (925-708-5845)
Thursday, May 27, 2010
CONCORD--State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell announced today that he has endorsed Assemblymember Tom Torlakson in the campaign to succeed him as the chief of California's public school system. The election for the non-partisan office will take place on June 8, 2010.
"I proudly endorse Tom Torlakson to be California's next Superintendent of Public Instruction. As a teacher and education reformer in the legislature, Tom has demonstrated the energy, creativity, experience, and passion to put children first," said O'Connell. "Tom will continue the fight to reform our school system. He is a proven coalition builder, and someone I know will bring people together to improve our schools. On June 8th, I urge all Californians to cast a vote for our kids' future by voting for Tom Torlakson for Superintendent of Public Instruction."
O'Connell will be leaving office in January 2011, the end of this second four-year term, because of term limits. He has served as State Superintendent of Public Instruction since January 2003. O'Connell previously served as a member of the State Assembly (1982-1994) and State Senate (1994-2002).
"I'm very honored to receive this endorsement from Superintendent Jack O'Connell," said Torlakson. "Under Jack's leadership, we've increased student achievement during a time when our education system has suffered from deep budget cuts. As Superintendent of Public Instruction, I will work hard to build on his legacy of success."
With O'Connell's endorsement, Torlakson has earned the endorsements of the two previous State Superintendents of Public Instruction. Delaine Eastin, who held the office from 1995-2003, was featured at Torlakson's campaign kickoff in April 2009. Torlakson has also been endorsed by former California Secretary of Education David Long, who served under Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Torlakson has applied his experience as a high school 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 individuals and organizations representing nearly three million Californians. Some of Torlakson's endorsers include: the California Federation of Teachers, California School Employees Association, California Teachers Association, California Faculty Association, California Labor Federation, California State Building and Construction Trades Council, California Association of Bilingual Educators, California Nurses Association, California National Organization for Women PAC, California Professional Firefighters, California Young Democrats, California Statewide Law Enforcement Association, Peace Officers Research Association of California, Equality California, California SEIU State Council, United Food and Commercial Workers, and many other individuals and organizations. More information on Torlakson's campaign and his endorsers can be found at www.TomTorlakson.com.