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CSEA mobilizing to re-elect Tom Torlakson
State Superintendent of Public Instruction understands value of classified employees

2/21/14

CSEA members and staff statewide are stepping up efforts to re-elect State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson to another four-year term. Torlakson has long proven he is a friend to classified employees and understands the value of classified work.

Association President Michael Bilbrey asked all CSEA members to work toward Torlakson’s re-election, noting that Torlakson understands the challenges facing California education and has fought tirelessly to increase funding to schools.

“Tom Torlakson has fought hard to give our schools the resources they need to educate California’s students,” Bilbrey said. “We need to fight just as hard to make sure he can continue working to give school districts more local control, increase safety in our schools, and make sure local districts are adequately funded.”

A former classroom teacher, Torlakson is keenly aware of the role classified employees play in education. He is eager to continue working closely with CSEA leaders and other members of the education community to continue reinvesting in California schools.

“As a former teacher, I know that school employees are the heart and soul of a school. They’re critical members of the team that has to work together to keep students safe and provide the kind of supportive school environment students need to succeed,” Torlakson said. “It means the world to me to have the support of CSEA and its members in my campaign. It’s easy to get involved: you can like our page on Facebook and share information about our efforts with your neighbors and friends. You can also get more involved and sign up for campaign updates at www.tomtorlakson.com.”

During the past four years, Torlakson has fought for reforms that put decision-making power back into the hands of local school districts and communities. He helped to create the largest system of after-school-programs in the nation and has overseen the expansion of career and technical training for high school students. Torlakson also worked diligently to pass Proposition 30, which increased funding to schools.

“I know that decisions about our education dollars are best made by local schools, parents, teachers and employees themselves–not politicians in Washington or Sacramento,” Torlakson said. “

Torlakson has one declared opponent in the June primary election, Marshall Tuck, a businessman who has no experience in public schools. Some of the Tuck’s endeavors in education include opening charter schools, privatization of public schools and outsourcing education. In this election, voters will have a clear choice between values and experiences.

“I’m a classroom teacher and a coach. Education is my life’s work,” Torlakson said. “I’m being opposed by a former Wall Street investment banker with no training as a teacher.”

Bilbrey urged CSEA members to tell friends, family and co-workers about why it’s important to re-elect Torlakson, and asked that members participate in CSEA’s re-election efforts. Bilbrey said Torlakson has been a great friend to CSEA, especially in his efforts to increase funding for schools, making more money available for upgrades to school facilities, and in acknowledging the contributions of classified employees to California schools.

“From his first month in office, Tom made sure that CSEA was included on his transition workgroup to help develop his educational plan for improving our schools,” Bilbrey said. “Over the past four years, he stepped up to support CSEA on important local issues, including protecting our members in merit districts, addressing new food service regulations, and celebrating and recognizing outstanding classified employees each year. Please join me in supporting Tom Torlakson for State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Contact your field office today to find out how you can help support the campaign.”

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A former classroom teacher, Tom Torlakson is keenly aware of the role classified employees play in education. He is eager to continue working closely with CSEA leaders and other members of the education community to continue reinvesting in California schools.

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