This June, voters may elect a new state superintendent of public instruction (SPI) to oversee California’s public schools, which educate 6.2 million K-12 students. The challenges facing our schools are many: California has nearly 60 percent of its students living in poverty (eligible for free and reduced-cost meals), has 1.3 million English learners, and is 46th in the nation in per-pupil spending. President Trump’s plan to defund public schools by putting federal dollars into vouchers and for-profit charter schools sets the stakes even higher in this election.
CTA recommends Assembly Member Tony Thurmond, former Richmond City Council member and former West Contra Costa Unified school board member. His opponents include Marshall Tuck, former president of Green Dot Public Schools, who received $12 million from charter school groups in the 2014 SPI race he lost narrowly to current Superintendent Tom Torlakson.
We caught up with Thurmond recently, and asked him to share his views on a wide variety of topics for our members.
Check out his interview in the California Educator.