Meet Tony Thurmond

The Educators’ Choice for Superintendent of Public Instruction


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Thurmond knows the power of public education firsthand, he says, because it saved his life. After his single mother died when Thurmond was 6 years old, he and his 3 brothers were raised by a cousin who taught them that education could be the great equalizer. Thurmond was inspired to become a social worker to help at-risk kids, and is now running for Superintendent to fight for all students and educators.

As a state Assembly member, school board trustee and city councilman, Thurmond has always kept California’s kids as his top priority. While on the West Contra Costa Unified School District board, he oversaw truancy prevention programs, supported school-based mental health programs, and launched a program to teach entrepreneurial skills to disadvantaged students.

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Thurmond passed legislation to provide millions of dollars to school districts to keep kids in school and out of the criminal justice system, fought for money to make sure that all California youth in foster care can go to college, and increased funding for early education programs.

Thurmond recognizes the growing teacher shortage in California. He supports affordable housing and other incentives to attract and retain quality educators in our classrooms.

Thurmond wholeheartedly supports transparency and accountability for all public schools, including privately-run charter schools. With more than 1,200 charter schools operating in California, he does not believe we should increase the number of charters in the state. He believes charters should only be authorized by locally elected school boards.

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Like educators and parents, Thurmond believes in demanding the resources necessary to prepare our students for 21st-century jobs. He wants to see that every California student has the resources they need to develop their capabilities in science, technology, engineering and math and succeed in the high-tech and global economy.

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