Tuesday, April 29, 2014

California superintendent race shows Democrats split on school reform - Yahoo News

California superintendent race shows Democrats split on school reform - Yahoo News:



California superintendent race shows Democrats split on school reform

Reuters 
Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson speaks at the 2014 California Democrats State Convention at the Los Angeles Convention Center
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Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson speaks at the 2014 California Democrats State Convention …
(This version of the story corrects April 25 story to political consultant Hefner is Torlakson's campaign manager instead of Tuck's, paragraph 17)
By Sharon Bernstein
SACRAMENTO, California (Reuters) - The race to be California's superintendent of education is shaping up to be an expensive contest between fellow Democrats - one backed by the party establishment and teachers unions, and the other calling for school reform.
Former charter school executive Marshall Tuck said on Friday he planned to unleash campaign ads and social media outreach next week to unseat incumbent state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, a former lawmaker and teacher who has the backing of unions and the state party organization.
"We have 38 days until the primary," said Tuck, who has the backing of former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and funding from billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad. "We want to make sure as many people in the state as possible know about the importance of this position."
Tuck's campaign takes place as six states are set to elect new superintendents of schools this year, and 13 more are electing governors who are expected to appoint new superintendents when they take office.
The contests are getting underway against a backdrop of questions raised by education activists who want to roll back some union protections for teachers, establish local control of curriculum and spending decisions, and in some cases, use public funding to support private schools.
The suggestions have roiled teachers unions and many establishment Democrats.
In Georgia, a Democratic candidate who supported charter schools left the race for lack of support from the party. In California, the Democratic party voted last month to endorse incumbent Torlakson.
EXPENSIVE CAMPAIGN
Torlakson has raised just over $1 million for his campaign, not counting a $60,000 independent expenditure California superintendent race shows Democrats split on school reform - Yahoo News:

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