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California denied new education funds: Torlakson response

According to today’s LA Times,

“California was disqualified Thursday from receiving hundreds of millions of dollars in school reform funds when federal education leaders announced that 15 other states and Washington, D.C., are in the running for billions in federal grants. The money at stake is the first round of $4.35 billion that the Obama administration plans to give states to spur reforms.”

The entire article is here.

Tom Torlakson, candidate for State Superintendent of Public Instruction, released this statement about the state’s disqualification:

“It’s always a bad thing when we lose resources for our schools. We need to look at this decision as an opportunity for us to reconsider what we need to do to make our schools better. Federal requirements and deadlines pushed our state in a direction that most parents and students don’t want to go. Most parents do not want to abandon the schools in their neighborhood. This proposal encouraged California to abandon the concept of good schools in every neighborhood. It asked us to give up on our efforts to improve them. That’s not something I support. Not now, not ever. As a teacher and a parent, I want every community to have local schools that are the very best they can be. We should use our best efforts to meet that objective. We shouldn’t be signing on to schemes that are designed to pull apart our local schools in failed efforts to chase after small amounts of money.

It’s time to turn our attention to the real problem. State government has starved our schools of the resources we need to provide a quality education. Change for the sake of change — without a real commitment to fully fund education — will not succeed.”

As a recent OC Register article explained, few of OC’s school districts had applied for the funds anyway:

“Nine of Orange County’s 28 school districts would qualify for a share of the funding if California wins, as these districts have formally committed to the president’s reform agenda for schools.”

One Comment

  1. Francis Francis March 5, 2010

    Torlakson is saying poor kids, latinos, and african americans should be held hostage in bad schools while failing adults keep doing the same thing and expecting different results.

    Our kids deserve better than to be a part of your failed social experiment Tom Torlakson.

    You want to lead our schools? You are fired.

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