Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, sharing a stage Wednesday with Gov. Jerry Brown, heaped praise on the popular governor, calling him “a great role model” at the opening of a new fitness center at a San Jose elementary school.
Brown, Torlakson said, has “trimmed up the budget to be fit,” ensuring continued education funding “so you can help realize your academic dreams.”
It is Torlakson, though, who finds himself in a difficult re-election fight against upstart Marshall Tuck and needs endorsements more than Brown.
And the governor was not in a giving mood.
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He did not mention Torlakson once in brief remarks. Instead, Brown playfully taunted several hundred students at Katherine R. Smith Elementary School about their mascot, the panther.
“When I went to school I was a wildcat,” he said, “and wildcats can eat up panthers any day.”
The 76-year-old governor encouraged students to “lift weights, lift yourself up, run around and do things,” concluding his remarks with “Go Panthers!”
“You’re so handsome that I can’t speak properly.”
GWYNETH PALTROW, introducing President Barack Obama on Thursday at a fundraiser at her Brentwood home
Independent expenditure committees have set aside almost $5.5 million in the past week for the final stage of California’s hotly contested schools chief race, a battle pitting incumbent Tom Torlakson against former schools executive Marshall Tuck. A committee backing Tuck has already raised more than $4 million from prominent business and technology figures. The California Teachers Association dropped another $1.4 million this week into its committee for Torlakson.