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SPI Hopeful Reveles Expresses Support to Aceves; Candidates File Six-Month Financial Reports

By Jeff Hudson - August 28, 2009

Larry Aceves, a candidate for State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI), with week picked up the endorsement of Francisco Reveles, a Sacramento educator who had been a rival in the race for schools chief.

“I am proud to support Larry Aceves' campaign for Superintendent of Public Instruction because we need the strong leadership of a lifelong educator at a time when our schools and our students are facing unprecedented challenges,” Reveles said. “Larry and I have always been united in our goals of improving opportunity for California's young people and I am proud to be a part of his grassroots campaign.”

Aceves said of the endorsement, “I am humbled by Dr. Reveles' endorsement, and grateful for the outstanding work he has done on behalf of California's young people.  I look forward to working with him and leaders across the state to improve opportunity for California's students by fighting for adequate and equal school funding and working to reduce red tape so teachers can focus on classroom instruction.”

Reveles, a professor of education at Sacramento State (part of the California State University system) and former high school principal, is a well-known educator, motivational speaker, and community leader who has worked extensively on issues of educational equality.  Reveles launched his campaign for SPI back in July 2008, and had a website, but decided to pull out after Aceves entered the race earlier this year.

Aceves has been endorsed by the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA), the largest umbrella leadership organization for school leaders in the nation, representing more than 16,000 school leaders.   Additionally, Aceves has received the support of the California Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators (CALSA) and the Association of Mexican American Educators PAC.  Aceves has also been endorsed by several hundred California superintendents and principals.

Aceves is a Democrat and a past president of ACSA and CALSA.  He began his career in education as an elementary school teacher.  He served as teacher, principal, and superintendent throughout his career in school districts in San Jose, San Diego and the Central Coast.

The field of early candidates in the SPI race has been thinning this year.  Back in February, former State Senator Betty Karnette (D-Long Beach) ended her candidacy and endorsed Assemblyman Tom Torlakson (D-Antioch).  Another early SPI candidate, San Francisco’s John Burton (former President pro Tem of California Senate) withdrew earlier this year to become chairman of the California Democratic Party.

According to figures recently reported by the California Secretary of State’s office, SPI candidate Tom Torlakson – who formally entered the race in April, but started preparing for the contest much earlier – raised $545,807 between January 1 and June 30, 2009.  Torlakson’s campaign spent $228,646 during that same period, and ended with $349,283 in cash.

The Aceves campaign – which launched in April – raised $208,354 during the January through June reporting period.  The Aceves campaign spent $66,530 during that time period, and ended with $145,299 in cash.

State Sen. Gloria Romero (D-East Los Angeles), another SPI candidate who formally declared in January, raised $134,566 from January through June.  The Romero campaign spent $72,777 during that time period, and ended with $187,395 in cash.

These are still early days in the SPI race, which will climax with the election on June 8, 2010.  Many political observers believe that a successful campaign will probably need to raise somewhere between $3 million and $4 million dollars.

Editor's Note: Jeff Hudson is the editor of EdBrief and an award-winning education reporter and writer in print, radio and television media.