Candidate for state schools chief, Assemblyman touts vision for public education

East Bay Assemblyman Tony Thurmond said his decision to run for the state Department of Education’s top job is not so much a political consideration as it is “a heart decision.”

“I’m all in for kids,” he said late Tuesday afternoon in Wood High School’s Catwalk Theatre, where the state lawmaker, a Democrat from Richmond, laid out his vision for public education during a gathering of some 30 members of the Vacaville Teachers Association, which has endorsed him.

The teachers applauded the statement, which ended Thurmond’s 45-minute presentation, including his responding to several questions.

If on June 5 he defeats his challenger Marshall Tuck, who is backed by so-called education “reformers” and nearly sunk Tom Torlakson’s second bid for state schools chief in 2014, Thurmond will lead a mammoth state bureaucracy that is responsible for educating 6.2 million K-12 students. (Other candidates include Steven Ireland and Lily Poloski.)

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