Torlakson Sworn In As New California Schools Chief

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS/AP)- On Monday California got a new State Superintendent of Public Instruction in Tom Torlakson. The former East Bay state assemblyman, Contra Costa County supervisor, and Antioch city councilman held an inauguration at Mount Diablo High School in Concord where he was once a teacher. He replaces Jack O’Connell as the state’s top education official.

His term comes as public schools in California are bracing for another round of cuts from the state budget.

“You can start with the taxes that are already in place that are set to expire,” said Torlakson. “The schools have lost one-third of their funding in the last three budgets and they can’t sustain that level of cuts without severe damage to the education of our young people.”

In the face of a growing education reform movement coming from the Obama administration, he says he’ll push for more federal money, and more flexibility to use it at the local level.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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