Contact: Mike Myslinski at 650-552-5324
BURLINGAME – Results of Tuesday’s primary election show once again that California’s voters support candidates with proven records of backing public education, and are also willing to invest in their neighborhood schools by approving local parcel taxes and school bonds up and down the state.
Voters selected two former K-12 educators – Tom Torlakson and Larry Aceves – to be in the November runoff for the critical office of state superintendent of public instruction – and rejected State Senator Gloria Romero of Los Angeles. The vote is a repudiation of Romero’s role in California as a champion of federal “Race to the Top” reform guidelines that punish struggling schools and promote misguided policies such as paying educators based on student test scores.
“These votes were votes for the promise of our public schools, and for candidates who believe in that promise,” said David A. Sanchez, president of the 325,000-member California Teachers Association. “The results are in, and they clearly show voters are rejecting the top-down, one-size-fits-all reform mandates from Sacramento and Washington. They want proven reforms like smaller class sizes, quality teachers and better resources for students. And the strong support for local tax measures shows the high value that the public puts on their local schools.”
CTA continues to support Assembly member Torlakson, D-Antioch, for state superintendent of public instruction. He supports teachers’ urgent pleas to stop state cuts to our classrooms to solve the current budget crisis, and believes that the federal, competition-based Race to the Top guidelines create winners and losers when all students deserve adequately funded schools.
While Romero was edged out of the state superintendent race runoff with 100 percent of precincts counted statewide, according to unofficial state election results, some absentee votes remained to be counted.
Despite having to be passed by two-thirds margins, many local parcel taxes were approved by voters on Tuesday. School bonds were also successful, but only have to get 55% vote majorities. For example, in the San Francisco Bay Area, nine CTA-supported local parcel taxes and school bonds passed. Statewide, six of nine school parcel taxes and 15 of 20 school bonds werer approved.
“Even in these hard times, communities see that an investment in public schools is an investment in the future of our communities and our state,” Sanchez said. “Quality public schools build strong cities and towns – and a better California for all of us.”
Visit www.cta.org for additional information on other CTA recommended candidates, parcel taxes and bond measures.