TUSTIN—Teacher and school board member Gloria Matta Tuchman on Friday announced bipartisan support of her campaign to persuade Gov. Pete Wilson to appoint her state superintendent of public instruction.
Tuchman, a firstgrade teacher at Taft Elementary School in Tustin, is most known for her controversial push to reform bilingual education. She advocates teaching non-English-speaking children almost exclusively in English and recently called the nation’s bilingual programs a “billion-dollar scam.”
Tuchman, 51, of Santa Ana, was a lifelong Republican before she became a registered independent last year. She said she switched because she believes in “taking politics out of education.”
Tuchman has been endorsed by Orange County’s Republican legislators, including Assemblyman Mickey Conroy and Sen. John R. Lewis, both of Orange, as well as the county’s only Democrat in the Legislature, Assemblyman Tom Umberg, of Garden Grove. Umberg wrote a letter to Wilson on Thursday urging him to “seriously consider her appointment.”
Wilson is reportedly considering several candidates for the position, which remains open since Bill Honig was removed from office after being convicted of conflict-of-interest charges. Wilson originally nominated state Sen. Marian Bergeson, but the Legislature refused to confirm her appointment.
Tuchman said she would develop creative ways to increase school funding without raising taxes and would fight wasteful spending.
Tuchman said she believes that the “state must butt out” of education and leave most decisions to parents and local schools.
Tuchman serves on three national educational reform boards and is a two-term member and past president of the Tustin Unified School District Board of Education. She has taught for 30 years in California and Arizona.