FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Statement by CFT president Joshua Pechthalt
There was plenty to celebrate in California last night, but for educators, the most important result in many ways was the reelection of Tom Torlakson as State Superintendent of Public Instruction, This means that students, parents and educators will continue to have a champion in Sacramento.
The people of California have wisely sent a clear message to Marshall Tuck, the former Wall Street banker and charter school CEO, and his billionaire backers: our schools are not for sale to the highest bidder. While Tuck remained silent on the critical issues that affect quality public education—growing economic inequality, poverty in communities surrounding our schools, and how we might achieve the funding necessary to address the impact of these factors on education—Torlakson won his campaign by focusing on the need to address these concerns squarely.
Tom Torlakson has been a solid advocate for smaller class sizes, peer assistance and review programs, and wrap-around services to help schools serve as community centers for the families of their students. The CFT will continue to work with Tom Torlakson to propose these ideas to the public and the legislature, and to promote progressive tax policies like Proposition 30 that create the funding to make quality public education possible.
The members, officers and staff of the California Federation of Teachers wish to thank Tom Torlakson for his steadfast advocacy for our students and for his consistent efforts to support policies that provide educators with what we need to do our jobs. We look forward to another four years of working with a great Superintendent of Public Instruction.
We also extend our congratulations to Governor Jerry Brown on his historic reelection and on the passage of Propositions 1 & 2. The Governor continues to build a legacy as one of California's strongest governors and most important political leaders.
The passage of Prop 47 will begin to ratchet back the ill-advised growth of the prison-industrial complex, spend taxpayer money on more beneficial projects, and allow people who have made mistakes or poor choices to gain more productive possibilities for their lives.
California is also well served by the election of Betty Yee to the controller’s office, and by the reelection of John Chiang, Treasurer, and Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. The people of California remain in good hands with a team of elected officials who, unlike in many states, actually believe in the power of government to do good for its citizens, and who seek the most practical path to making that happen.
The California Federation of Teachers represents 120,000 education employees, from Head Start through the University of California. It is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO. More info: www.cft.org