The state superintendent of public instruction plays a big role in the education of millions of children and young adults.

And in Tuesday’s primary election, voters will cast votes for the successor to Tom Torlakson, who is termed out.

Tuck vs. Thurmond

The two leading candidates are school reform/charter schools advocate Marshall Tuck and Assemblyman Tony Thurmond, a former social worker.

Both candidates say that California needs to invest more in public schools, especially in early education.

Where they part ways: Tuck is more aggressive about wanting to reform things such as California’s last-hired, first laid-off rules governing teachers.

Reformers vs. Teachers Union

Thus Tuck is backed by reform advocates, and Thurmond is backed by groups such as the California Teachers Association.

This is the second attempt at the office for Tuck, who narrowly lost to Torlakson in 2014.

A close race is expected this time as well, and it is virtually certain that Thurmond and Tuck will advance from the primary to the November general election.

Quick Links to Where They Stand

EdSource.org has done an excellent job of chronicling where Tuck and Thurmond stand on the issues. Before voting, you should check out the EdSource story and tables at this link.

In addition, this EdSource story has a guide to the superintendent’s duties and powers.

Another great reference is this look at the race from CALmatters.

You can access GV Wire’s video interview with Tuck at this link.

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