Thurmond to Address Youth Leaders at State Schools Superintendent Forum

Press Release


DAVIS, CA – Assemblyman Tony Thurmond will discuss his platform to lead California’s public schools if he is elected State Superintendent of Public Instruction in a candidate forum at the UC Davis Mondavi Center on Saturday, August 11, at 11:00 am. Over three hundred youth are expected to be in attendance. The event is free and open to the public.

The State Superintendent is the top elected public education official in the state and sits on the UC Board of Regents and CSU Board of Trustees.

As a state assemblyman, Thurmond has carried critical youth-sponsored legislation.  His bill AB 261, sponsored by the California Association of Student Councils, gave student board members preferential voting rights to amplify student voice on school boards.  AB 1488 is a bill Thurmond wrote with students who are incarcerated at a juvenile detention camp where Thurmond taught civics.  The bill provides wraparound services to help juveniles leaving the criminal justice system reintegrate into school and the workforce and reduce their chances of returning to prison.

“Youth participation is essential to our democracy,” said Thurmond. “This year young people will make their voices heard on issues from gun violence in schools to more affordable higher education to President Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda. If I’m elected Superintendent of Public Instruction, I’ll continue to work hand in hand with students to ensure their public schools have the resources necessary to prepare them for success in the 21st century.”

Thurmond has over 20 years experience working directly with students as a social worker and educator.  Thurmond worked at UC Berkeley supporting low-income and minority college students adapt to university life.  He has taught social work courses at CSU East Bay and USC. As a nonprofit leader, Thurmond ran school-based mental health programs.  

Thurmond is running for state schools chief on a platform to increase funding for public education – his legislation AB 1014 already has shifted $35 million from prisons to schools – and to prepare all students for college and careers in the 21st century economy. His work to close the achievement gap for minority and low-income students includes his legislation to expand the free lunch program to 400,000 students and to ensure all foster youth receive money to go to college.

Thurmond himself grew up on public assistance and the free lunch program.  His mother, a Panamanian immigrant who came to San Jose to be a teacher, passed away from cancer when he was 6.  Thurmond was raised by a distant cousin, also an immigrant from Panama, who ensured he got a quality public education.  Thurmond went on to become student body president at Temple University.

Thurmond is endorsed by Senator Kamala Harris, civil rights icon Dolores Huerta, the California Democratic Party, California College Democrats, Democracy for America, Equality California, and Planned Parenthood.  If elected, Thurmond would be the first Latino and Afro-Latino State Superintendent of Public Instruction in California history.

Learn more about Thurmond at