Should Inglewood trust Tom Torlakson

tom torlakson2UrbanGirls had a few questions to ask of CDE Superintendent Tom Torlakson, who is an elected official, on the state of the Inglewood Unified School District.  I follow him on Twitter and he is regularly attending photo ops, I mean community events, in the South Bay and Compton, but hasn’t been seen in Inglewood since he announced the arrival of Kent Taylor.  Torlakson is up for re-election next year and I am not so sure Inglewood residents should support putting him back in office.

2UrbanGirls sent a Q&A and received a response back from his communications department that they would try to get them answered.  Not even 10 minutes passed before 2UrbanGirls received the following response:

“Dear Melissa:
Superintendent Torlakson is not available to address questions at this time, but he did issue this statement at, regarding the appointment of Dr. Brann as trustee for the district. Please direct further questions about the district’s operations to Dr. Brann.”

Tina Jung, Information Officer II
California Department of Education, Communications Division
1430 N Street, Suite 5602, Sacramento, CA 95814

That would be nice to do, however, as demonstrated by both Kent Taylor and LaTanya Kirk-Carter, Dr. Brann must run ALL decisions by Torlakson.  Let’s cut out the middle man and have him answer as to why things went down as they have since CDE took over last year.  Or is the fact that Dr. Brann is white, exempt him from taking direction from Torlakson?

Here are the questions that were submitted.

Good afternoon Superintendent Torlakson,

I am a concerned parent and community member within Inglewood, CA and the Inglewood Unified School District.

The last couple of years have been extreme hell for both the students and the community as we are fed one lie after the other about the state of our district.

The questions I would like to pose are the following:

  • Our newly appointed state superintendent has been retired for the past five (5) years and served as a trustee of Wiseburn on a volunteer basis.  Why wasn’t someone appointed who is currently active in that position?
  • Kent Taylor was “pressured” to resign (as described by Rob Kuznia/Daily Breeze) due to contracts with the unions that CDE does not wish to honor.  If the union agreements can’t be honored, why are the contracts honored for outgoing senior members of the district (i.e. Glenston Thompson)
  • The Equity in Education Committee has been very vocal about their displeasure with the states services; however, they failed to mention that leaders within the organization also authored Measure GG, which unlike Measure CL in neighboring Wiseburn/Hawthorne/Centinela Valley Union, who approved a similar tax which includes funding for the general fund.  How does Measure GG differ and why weren’t personnel covered?
  • There is constant discussion regarding the possible “dissolving” of the district.  IF that does in fact happen, what happens to Inglewood’s Measure GG funds?
  • Those in the neighboring district where Measure CL was passed, allows for those aged 65 and older the option of having a parcel tax exemption as to not fund the schools.  Are Inglewood residents, 65 and older, allowed the same concession?
  •  Why did an interim state administrator make cuts fully aware that a permanent administrator would start July 1st?
  •  What Inglewood Unified School District property is being held as collateral against SB 533?
  •  You attend many events in Lawndale, Compton and surrounding cities but have yet to show your face in Inglewood since the announcement of Kent Taylor, why?  It clearly shows a lack of respect to the community, along with allowing the advisory board members to still sit on the dais as if they are still in power.


  •  Why aren’t Measure K documents, agenda, communications and financials on the IUSD website for public review?  An outrageous number of change orders have occurred and approved by the Measure K Bond Oversight Committee who has NO approved bylaws for the past decade.  Are you looking into this?
  •  Will you introduce Spanish/English for elementary school level or at minimum in the after school programs?  Our district is over 50% Spanish and Title III funds aren’t enough.  Foreign language needs to be addressed earlier than two years of HS.

I appreciate your taking the time to answer these questions.  I am aware this is re-election time for you and as Inglewood prepares to cast votes on whether you return or not, it is imperative that you take the Inglewood community seriously.  You work for US!


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About Melissa

I am a lifelong Inglewood resident living in District 4. I serve on PTA and School Site Council as Vice-President, for the last 8 years with Inglewood Unified School District. I volunteer on the Wellness Committee for ICEF Public Schools. I am an alumni of California State University, Dominguez Hills with a degree in Political Science. You can find me on Twitter under @CreoleMommie

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