Well, the stakes are high for the teacher’s unions. California is a place where teachers get a particularly sweet deal and hold considerable political sway. But the union guy for the job, Tom Torlakson, is being beaten by a charter school advocate, Marshall Tuck. Both men are Dems, but Tuck could be a change agent and the unions fear him.
Boy, you know you are in California when the “conservative” candidate (Tuck) has received money from Michael Bloomberg.
Tuck aims to abolish seniority-based layoffs, which can protect veteran teachers even if they have poor performance reviews. He would also like to double, triple or quadruple the number of years teachers must work before they can even think about earning tenure.
He also says flatly that the state Democratic Party is too beholden to the CTA, which has seven lobbyists in Sacramento and has spent about $170 million on political campaigns in California since 2000, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics.