|California Superintendent of Public Instruction|
|January 3, 2011 - Present|
|January 5, 2015|
|Years in position||2|
|Elections and appointments|
|First elected||November 2, 2010|
|Next election||November 2, 2014|
|Term limits||Two terms|
|California State Assembly|
|2008 - 2010|
|California State Senate|
|2000 - 2008|
|Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors|
|1980 - 1996|
|Bachelor's||University of California at Berkeley|
|Master's||University of California at Berkeley|
|Other||Teaching Certificate - University of California at Berkeley|
While his current post is nonpartisan, Torklakson has been affiliated with the Democratic party since the start of his political career serving on the Antioch City Council. Before becoming state superintendent, Torlakson was a Democratic member of the state legislature. He represented the 11th District in the California State Assembly from 1996-2000 and from 2008 to 2010. In the interim, Torlakson served in the California State Senate from 2000-2008.  Prior to that, he was a longtime member of the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors, and served three nonconsecutive years as board chairman.
Not to be deceived by his recent career streak as a state lawmaker, professionally, he has considerable experience as an educator, including teaching at Mount Diablo High School for nearly a decade. He was also an adjunct faculty member at Los Medanos College from 2007 to 2010 and coached for 30 years at Antioch High School.
As superintendent, Torlakson oversees the California Department of Education and, by extension, all of the state of California's public schools. He executes the policies of the California Board of Education, which is the school system's primary governing body, in addition to operational and administrative responsibilities such as issuing licenses to teachers and maintaining school property.
Torlakson was an adjunct faculty member at Los Medanos College from 2007 to 2010, a teacher at Mount Diablo High School from 1972 to 1981 and a coach at Antioch High School from 1973 to 2003. He also worked at Kosich Insurance Company from 1989 to 2010.  He was a member of the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors from 1980 to 1996 and served as chair in 1984, 1989 and 1994.
He holds his bachelor's degree in history, Master's in education, and a teaching certificate, all from University of California at Berkeley.
- B.A. in history, University of California-Berkeley
- Teaching Certificate, University of California-Berkeley
- M.A. in education, University of California-Berkeley
Superintendent of Education (2011-present)
California State Assembly (2008-2010)
Torlakson did not provide answers to the California State Legislative Election 2008 Political Courage Test. The test provides voters with how a candidate would vote on the issues if elected.
Capitol Weekly, California's major weekly periodical covering the state legislature, publishes an annual legislative scorecard to pin down the political or ideological leanings of every member of the legislature based on how they voted on an assortment of bills in the most recent legislative session. The 2009 scores were based on votes on 19 bills, but did not include how legislators voted on the Proposition 1A (2009). On the scorecard, "100" is a perfect liberal score and "0" is a perfect conservative score. ,
On the 2009 Capitol Weekly legislative scorecard, Torlakson ranked as an 89.
Torlakson served on the following committees:
- Appropriations Committee, California General Assembly
- Education Committee, California General Assembly
- Rules Committee, California Legislature
- Rules Committee, California General Assembly
- Transportation Committee, California General Assembly
Torlakson's sponsored legislation included:
- AB 89 - Taxation: cigarettes and other tobacco products
- AB 267 - Education finance districts: taxes
- AB 476 - Standardized Testing and Reporting Program
For details and a full listing of sponsored bills, see the House site.
California State Senate (2000-2008)
Contra Cost County Board of Supervisors (1980-1986)
Antioch City Council (1978-1980)
Torlakson was a member of the Antioch City Council from 1978 to 1980.
Torlakson was elected state superintendent of public instruction on November 2, 2010. He was ineligible to run for re-election to the California State Assembly in 2010 due to term limits.
|California Superintendent of Public Instruction, 2010|
|Election Results Via: California Secretary of State|
In 2008 Torlakson was elected to the California State Assembly District 11. Torlakson (D) finished with 117,773 votes while his opponent Elizabeth Hansen (R) finished with 42,023 votes. Torlakson raised $603,934 for his campaign fund.
|California State Assembly, District 11, General Election, 2008|
Comprehensive donor information for Torlakson is available dating back to 1998. Based on available campaign finance records, Torlakson raised a total of $7,657,730 during that time period. This information was last updated on July 8, 2013.
2004, 2008, 2010
Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of Tom Torlakson's donors each year. Click [show] for more information.
|Tom Torlakson's Campaign Contributions|
California Superintendent of Public Instruction
California State Assembly District 11
California State Senate District 7
|Total Raised by General Election Opponent||$546,715|
|Top 5 contributors||California Democratic Party||$238,177||California Teachers Association||$14,400||California Teachers Association||$11,800|
|Tom Torlakson||$99,000||California State Council of Service Employees||$14,400||California State Council of Service Employees||$11,400|
|California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO||$25,800||Electrical Workers Local 302||$10,800||AFSCME California||$8,300|
|California Teachers Association||$25,800||Northern California Carpenters Regional Council||$9,200||Electrical Workers Local 302||$8,150|
|Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 467||$25,800||California Dental Association||$7,200||Northern California Carpenters Regional Council||$7,900|
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Tom + Torlakson + California + Education"
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Partnering with California PTA to Provide ... - Sierra Sun Times
- Torlakson Picks Hart Student Board Member as Alternate to Rep State in DC - SCVNEWS.com
- State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces California Students Make Major ... - Sierra Sun Times
- California State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces Second Half of $1.25 ... - Sierra Sun Times
- Schools promoting 'trauma-informed' teaching to reach troubled students - EdSource Today
- Local schools receive state funds for Common Core transition - The Record Gazette
- New Film Inspires Youth to Find Passion in STEM Education and Discover ... - Business Wire (press release)
- Local school districts to get energy funding from tax increases - Adobe Press
- In Reversal, California Expands Statewide Tests to 2 Subjects - LA School Report
- Tim Smith is one of five educators named California Teacher of the Year on ... - Sacramento Bee
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- Tom Torlakson's campaign website
- Official state assembly website of Tom Torlakson
- Legislative profile of Tom Torlakson on Project Vote Smart
- Biographical profile of Tom Torlakson on Project Vote Smart
- Campaign contributions: 2012, 2010, 2008, 2006, 2004, 2002, 2000, 1998
- Tom Torlakson on Facebook
- ↑ Project Vote Smart, "Biography Tom Torlakson," accessed September 24, 2012
- ↑ California Education Code, "Title 2, Division 2, Part 20, Chapter 3, Article 1, Sections 33302/33303," accessed June 27, 2011.
- ↑ Tom Torklakson for Superintendent 2014 Official Campaign Website, "Homepage," accessed July 17, 2013
- ↑ Project VoteSmart, "Bio of Tom Torlakson," accessed June 27, 2011
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 Project Vote Smart "Biography" Accessed September 26, 2012
- ↑ Project Vote Smart - Rep. Torlakson Issue Positions
- ↑ Capitol Weekly, "Capitol Weekly's Legislative Scorecard", December 17, 2009
- ↑ Fox and Hounds Daily, "Random Thoughts on the Political Scene", December 18, 2009
- ↑ Capitol Weekly", Downloadable 2009 Capitol Weekly State Legislative Scorecard
- ↑ California Secretary of State, "Campaign Finance:Statement of Intention," accessed November 27, 2012
- ↑ California State Assembly election results
- ↑ Campaign funds
- ↑ Follow the Money, "Career financing for Tom Torlakson," accessed July 8, 2013
- ↑ Follow the Money.org
|California State Assembly District 11
| Succeeded by|
|California Superintendent of Public Instruction
| Succeeded by|