LOS ANGELES (AP) — State Assemblyman Tom Torlakson has defeated rival Larry Aceves to become California’s next education chief.

Torlakson, a veteran Democratic lawmaker, will replace Jack O’Connell as the state superintendent of public instruction.

Torlakson will oversee the California Department of Education as deep cuts in state funding prompt districts to lay off teachers, close campuses, and cut programs to help struggling students.

The former high school science teacher has said he’ll make it easier for communities to pass parcel taxes to fund local schools and believes school districts can save money by shrinking administrative posts.

Aceves also was a former teacher before serving as an administrator in three California school districts. He also was president of the Association of California School Administrators.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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