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Torlakson to Tuck: Don't Hold School Funding Hostage

State Superintendent Tom Torlakson today called on his opponent, former Wall Street investment banker Marshall Tuck, to stop holding his support for extended school funding hostage to unspecified changes to education policy.

In an interview with the Sacramento Bee, Tuck stated -- but refused to explain -- the terms he would demand to support an extension of Proposition 30. Read the full story here.

The text of Torlakson's letter is below:

September 30, 2014

Mr. Marshall Tuck
9869 Easton Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Mr. Tuck:

I am deeply troubled to learn that you are - as the Sacramento Bee describes it - "hedging" on education funding ( Sept. 25).

The Bee reports that you would be open to extending the funding voters approved under Proposition 30 only if such an extension is tied to other changes to the state's public education system. To make matters worse, the Bee reported that you "did not have a specific idea of the changes (you) would want to tie to extending Proposition 30."

I recognize that we have sharply differing views on many of these matters. But I cannot understand why you would hold support for our schools hostage in an effort to leverage changes to education policy. Our children and their futures are not pawns to be used in an amateur's game of political brinksmanship.

In contrast, my position is clear. If the growth in California's economy is not sufficient to provide our schools the resources they need and deserve, I will work again with education leaders across the state to ask Californians to continue to invest in the education of our children.

Clearly, in your opinion, the chronic underfunding of our schools is not reason enough to come to their aid. My question is simple: what more must they do?

At the very least, you owe it to Californians to clearly spell out your terms now, before voters begin heading to the polls.


Tom Torlakson
State Superintendent of Public Instruction

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