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Election of State Superintendent

posted Sep 26, 2014, 9:27 AM by gjones@modoccoe.k12.ca.us

The following Guest Comment appeared on page 2 of The Modoc Record, 9/25/2014.

While it may not be the most glamorous statewide office, I want to encourage voters to do their research on the race for California’s Superintendent of Public Instruction.

The two candidates, Tom Torlakson (incumbent) and Marshall Tuck (challenger), have different accomplishments and have taken vastly different stands on important educational matters. Both are Democrats who have no experience with rural life.

I have had several opportunities to speak privately with both candidates about Modoc County and the unique educational needs of small school systems. Personally, I like both candidates. They have been attentive to my concerns and suggestions. However, I have to keep this in mind, they are both campaigning for political office.

In my role as president of the state’s county superintendents’ association, I will work closely with whoever wins the election. Consequently, I will not endorse either candidate. The schools of our county are better served by me not taking a public stand.

Let me explain my thinking. In the past, Modoc’s schools were mostly ignored by Sacramento. This is no longer true. I am able to speak to state leaders about local, regional, and statewide matters that affect our schools. I view that as a positive—a favorable situation for Modoc and other small school systems.

Yes, it is politics. And yes, I understand how the game is played.

Please visit the candidates’ websites and pay close attention to news accounts of their stances, specifically their focus on students. The candidates’ websites are: tomtorlakson.com and marshalltuck.com.

Polls show this to be the closest statewide race; Modoc’s votes could affect the final outcome. As always, I ask that you cast an informed vote, not one decided in the ballot booth or hastily cast to get your ballot in the mail.

Gary L. Jones
Modoc County Superintendent