California’s State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson, will be in Orange County this Tuesday, April 19, for a Meet & Greet Reception from 4-6 p.m., at the Rancho Santiago Community College District’s Board Room in Santa Ana.
The event is co-sponsored by Senator Correa, Assemblyman Solorio, the Superintendent’s Transition Committee, Orange County Business Council, and the CTA Orange Service Center Council.
Assemblymember Tom Torlakson is a second-generation teacher who has applied his experience as a science teacher and high school coach to fight for our kids and reform the way public education works in California.
Tom’s journey has led him from the classrooms of Contra Costa County’s Mount Diablo Unified School District (where he remains a teacher-on-leave), to the Antioch City Council, Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors, and the California State Senate and State Assembly.
Improving our state’s public education system has been the top priority for Tom as a member of the Legislature. Tom has acted to improve student nutrition and physical education, give schools the funding support they need to ensure academic achievement, and fought to reduce the dropout rate. He has also worked diligently to protect education funding.
In 1998 Tom authored legislation that has led to the development of the largest system of after school programs in the nation. In 2006, he authored the bill that led to a 300 percent expansion in these programs—so they now reach 4,000 schools around the state. Tom authored the Quality Education Improvement Act in 2006, which dedicates nearly $3 billion to our lowest performing schools. Tom also played a key role negotiating and authoring the $9 billion Proposition 1A bond measure in 1998—which has led to public votes supporting over $35 billion to build new schools and improve existing school buildings.
Tom championed legislation to increase funding for textbooks, computers, and other instructional materials; bills to enhance campus safety, close the digital divide, eliminate the achievement gap, improve student health, and reduce the horrible drop-out rate. Tom has also authored legislation to improve the safety of our children and students—including landmark legislation to regulate amusement park rides, improve reporting of sexual assaults and other crimes against children, combat hazing, and make our schools safer for students and teachers.
As the chair and founder of the California Task Force on Youth and Workplace Wellness, Tom has been a leader on banning junk food from our schools, providing healthier school meals, and promoting student health and fitness.
Tom is running for State Superintendent of Public Instruction so he can fight for our kids. He wants to ensure parents can send their children to a safe, quality school in their own neighborhood. He will seek to expand career and technical education for high school students, protect college-prep courses and arts and music programs, and make sure the management of local school districts measures up to the highest standards of excellence.
Born in San Francisco, Tom served as a fireman in the United States Merchant Marine, earning the Vietnam Service Medal. He earned a B.A. in History, a Life Secondary Teaching Credential, and an M.A. in Education from the University of California, Berkeley.