Assemblymember Tony Thurmond Launches Campaign for State Superintendent of Public Instruction

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“Fighting for education starts with opposing the efforts by President Trump and Betsy DeVos to defund our public schools.  I will fight the Trump Agenda to gut our public schools at every step.  California needs to be ready to face this crisis head on.”

 

RICHMOND – Assemblymember Tony Thurmond launched his campaign today for State Superintendent of Public Instruction by pledging to improve public education, and fight President Trump and Betsy DeVos’ efforts to defund public education. He has already secured the support of U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris.

“Improving education is my top priority,” said Thurmond. “That’s why I passed legislation to provide millions of dollars to school districts to keep kids in school and out of the criminal justice system.  And that’s why I’m working to reduce our statewide teacher shortage by advocating for teacher housing and other incentives that will allow us to attract and retain great teachers.

“We can’t be satisfied with the status quo. There was a time when California schools were the nation’s best. Now, by most accounts, California ranks 41st in the nation in per-pupil spending. It’s time to make our public education system among the greatest in the nation. I won’t stop until we get there. I will put in place innovative strategies to reform California’s schools. We must close the achievement gap, and I will work to provide rigorous educational opportunities for all students at all levels.

“But have no doubt – fighting for education starts with opposing the efforts by President Trump and Betsy DeVos to defund our public schools. I will fight the Trump Agenda to gut our public schools at every step.  California needs to be ready to face this crisis head on.”

“Assemblymember Thurmond has been a lifelong advocate for children and young adults across the state,” said Senator Harris. “He has continuously been an advocate ensuring that no young person slips through the cracks – from passing legislation to reduce truancy rates in K-3rd grade students, to his work ensuring that foster youth receive every opportunity for success, to coaching incarcerated teens in life skills. He has been an unwavering voice for change and I am proud to endorse him in this race.”

Thurmond is passionate about improving California’s schools. It was his public school education that prepared him for his career as a social worker that spanned two decades, and inspired him to serve on the West Contra Costa Unified School District Board and on the Richmond City Council. Today Assemblymember Thurmond represents California’s 15th Assembly District, which includes East Bay communities stretching along the I-80 corridor including Richmond, Berkeley and Oakland.

Thurmond has been working to support youth and families for over 20 years. He has sought to improve after school and enrichment programs to reduce suspensions and the drop out rate. He has also secured millions of dollars to place foster children in stable homes, expand mental health and child abuse prevention programs, and mentor at-risk youth.

In the Assembly, Thurmond serves on the Education Committee where he has advanced legislation that reduces truancy, empowers teachers, addresses student mental health and expands access to career technical education. He has passed legislation to resolve chronic attendance problems for young children, and consistently supported initiatives for teacher recruitment and retention.

Thurmond also chairs the Assembly Select Committee on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Education and is working to provide computer science training to help students prepare for the jobs of tomorrow.

A Fellow in the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Children and Family Fellowship program, Tony is a graduate and former student body president of Temple University. Thurmond did his graduate work at Bryn Mawr College (Bryn Mawr, PA) where he received dual Masters Degrees in Law and Social Policy and Social Work. He lives in Richmond, California.

For more information on Tony Thurmond’s candidacy for State Superintendent of Public Instruction go to tonythurmond.com.

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