Incumbent state public schools superintendent Tom Torlakson defeated Marshall Tuck in Tuesday’s election, giving a significant win to teachers’ unions that were furious with the Vergara vs. California decision that struck down teachers’ tenure. With 99% of precincts counted, Torlakson had gained 52.1% of the vote; Tuck, 47.9%.
The California Teachers Association gave almost $7 million to Torlakson’s campaign.
The San Jose Mercury News reports that Torlakson was not gracious in victory, sniping, “It looks like tonight is a win for the people who do more than talk about improving education–tonight is a win for the people who do something about it.”
Tuck, who heartily agreed with the Vergara decision, and had promised to withdraw the state’s appeal, had created a petition during the campaign that read:
To State Superintendent Tom Torlakson:
The five laws that were struck down in Vergara v. California regarding teacher tenure, dismissal, and layoffs have made it nearly impossible to fire ineffective teachers. Instead of defending these laws, I urge you, as the defendant in this case, not to appeal this ruling. Let’s use this as an opportunity to make sure our schools are finally able to put an effective teacher in every classroom.
As Breitbart reported in June, the Vergara decision ruled that “laws granting tenure after two years, prioritizing seniority in layoffs, and making it difficult to fire teachers violate state constitutional guarantees of adequate public education.”
Tuck was gracious in defeat, tweeting,
— Marshall Tuck (@MarshallTuck) November 5, 2014