As the dust settles on the California general election we can begin to see what it means for education reform advocates in the near future.
The majority of the reformers put their financing and influence behind Marshall Tuck’s failed run for Superintendent of Public Instruction.
This was the second time that reformers challenged the current Superintendent as they spent heavily to back former Senator Gloria Romero when she ran against Tom Torlakson four years ago.
Torlakson, then a State Senator, easily defeated Romero and Larry Aceves who was supported by the state’s Administrators Union.
As a result Torlakson’s first term as Superintendent of Public Instruction was rocky at best for education reform advocates so you can imagine what it will be like now that they are 0-2 against him.
It remains to be seen how reformers will go about mending fences with Torlakson but they have to come up with something now that he will control the Department of Education for another for years. If they do not then they will not be able to proceed with any reforms or initiatives that involve the Department.
From a legislative perspective things will not change much for supporters of education reform.
The Democrats are still firmly in control of both houses of the legislature but they failed to attain a 2/3 majority in either house. This means that they will have the final say in all legislation and budgetary matters in the state legislature and that the Republican party will be witnesses and not participants in the process.
However, it also means that they cannot override a veto by the Governor. So if like in past years the legislature passes anti-charter school legislation the Governor will still serve as the ultimate back stop because he has vetoed those bills in the past.
Where reformers will be stymied is in their attempts to pass any legislation giving parents and students more school choice options. These measures will most assuredly be dead on arrival.
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