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California Department of Education
News Release
Release: #15-53
July 26, 2016
Contact: Communications
Phone: 916-319-0818

State Schools Superintendent Tom Torlakson, Serving as Acting Governor, Declares "Change Lives – Be a Teacher Day" in California

SACRAMENTO—As his first official act as Acting Governor, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today issued a proclamation declaring "Change Lives – Be a Teacher Day" in California.

Torlakson, who started his public service career as a high school science teacher and coach, encouraged talented and committed people all over the state to consider pursuing an education career.

Governor Brown, Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, and most other statewide constitutional office holders are at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. The State Constitution and the Government Code require that the Superintendent of Public Instruction serve as Acting Governor when those other statewide office holders are absent from California.

Torlakson assumed duties as Acting Governor on Monday (July 25, 2016) evening and will serve until Thursday (July 28, 2016) afternoon, when Governor Brown is scheduled to return.

On Friday, Torlakson will be the kickoff speaker for a "Better Together: California Teachers Summit" at Sacramento State University, one of nearly 40 simultaneous education events held statewide that day.

The proclamation follows:

Are you a talented, passionate, dedicated, and high-quality person who wants to make a profound difference in the lives of young people and your community? California needs you.

California needs you to consider becoming a teacher.

Teachers play a pivotal role in helping young people get excited about learning and reaching success in 21st century careers and college.

But California has a teacher shortage. School districts, with an influx of new funding, are looking to lower student-teacher ratios and reinstate classes and programs that were reduced or eliminated during the lean budget years of the Great Recession.

The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing last year issued 15,000 credentials but projected a need for 7,000 more. In mid-October of 2015, two months after the school year started, the statewide educator job portal EdJoin still listed nearly 4,000 open teaching positions—double the number listed at that time in 2013.

Enrollment in California’s teacher preparation programs has declined significantly in the last eight years.

Specialized credentials are in high demand. In mathematics and science, the number of preliminary credentials awarded to new, fully-prepared teachers dropped by 32 percent and 14 percent, respectively, over the last four years. In special education, the number of credentials issued dropped by 21 percent.

We want students from your communities and from your schools to learn how rewarding it is to be a teacher. Most of those students will return to their communities and serve as role models.

Teaching isn’t just a job. It isn’t just a career. It’s a calling. It’s a commitment to your community, your students, and most of all, a commitment to the future.

You can learn more about becoming a teacher at External link opens in new window or tab..

Whether you are a student, a para-educator, or a career changer, please consider becoming a teacher. Make the difference of a lifetime.

Now Therefore I, Tom Torlakson, Acting Governor of the State of California, do hereby proclaim July 26, 2016, as "Change Lives - Be a Teacher Day."

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Tom Torlakson — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

Last Reviewed: Wednesday, December 29, 2021
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