2019 Model Continuation High Schools Announced – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today that 31 schools were newly designated as Model Continuation High Schools for 2019. These schools are recognized for their innovative approach to instruction and helping students who have faced many challenges—including behavior issues, chronic absenteeism, and truancy—get back on the pathway to learning.

“These schools have created exemplary programs and strategies that provide students with a second chance at academic success,” said Thurmond. “The commitment demonstrated by the teachers and administrative staff, combined with a culture of caring that focuses on the emotional and education needs of the unique populations they serve, are what make these continuation high schools the best examples of how to help kids strive and reach their full potential.”

Source: 2019 Model Continuation High Schools Announced – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

New K-12 California Arts Standards – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond praised the recent adoption of new California Arts standards by the State Board of Education, stating it is a critical step in enhancing creativity in students and preparing students for California’s “creative economy.” The last update to the state’s arts standards was in 2001.

“This was long overdue. Creativity and appreciation for the arts is important for all students to have a well-rounded education, exposing them to new ideas and perspectives. Arts education boosts school attendance, academic achievement, and college attendance rates; improves school climate; and promotes higher self-esteem and social-emotional development.” Thurmond said. “In addition, proficiency in the technology related to creative work is becoming an important skill for students as they progress into college and career.”

According to a 2018 report External link opens in new window or tab. by the Otis College of Art and Design, California’s creative economy generated $407.1 billion in economic output and 1.6 billion jobs, resulting in $141.5 billion in wages earned statewide. In the Los Angeles region alone, the creative economy generated $198 billion in economic output with $59.6 billion in wages earned.

Source: New K-12 California Arts Standards – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

Applications for Summer Meal Programs – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today announced that applications are available for the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Seamless Summer Option (SSO), both federally funded, state-administered programs that serve free meals to children eighteen and younger when school is out of session.

“Food insecurity impacts families throughout the state. When schools are out of session, our most economically disadvantaged students are not only missing academic instruction, they are also missing meals,” said Thurmond. “Access to nutritious and healthy food during the summer months helps students return to school ready to engage and ready to learn.”

According to the California Association of Food Banks, 85 percent of children who benefit from the federally funded free or reduced-price lunches during the school year miss similar lunch programs available during the summer. Every summer, 17 of 20 low-income students fall into the summer nutrition gap.

Source: Applications for Summer Meal Programs – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

Superintendent Thurmond Appoints Chief Counsel – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today that he has appointed Keith Yamanaka as Chief Counsel for the Legal Division of the California Department of Education (CDE). His division provides legal advice and representation to the Superintendent of Public Instruction, CDE, and State Board of Education.

Yamanaka will both lead the Legal Division and serve as CDE’s delegate at the CalSTRS Retirement Board. He has a diverse background in legal and executive leadership at a number of state agencies including the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) and the former California Department of Health Services.

“I am excited to have Keith join our CDE team, where he brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise,” Thurmond said. “He is a strong leader and manager and will help the CDE carry out our official duties and policy goals to help all students succeed.”

Source: Superintendent Thurmond Appoints Chief Counsel – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

Thurmond Appoints New Communications Director – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today announced that he has appointed Kindra Britt as Director of Communications for the California Department of Education (CDE).

Britt heads a division that handles internal and external communications, including media activities to support State Superintendent Thurmond, and CDE as a whole. She replaces outgoing Director Bill Ainsworth.

Britt most recently served as Community Affairs Director for the Placer County Office of Education, where she started nearly 12 years ago as a Career Technical Education Instructor. Britt brings a unique perspective to her new role at CDE, having previously served in the classroom. In addition to her work in Placer County, over the last few months, she was on loan to Butte County as a Public Information Officer to assist Paradise Unified School District (PUSD) during the aftermath of the catastrophic Camp Fire. She managed media relations from all over the world in response to the devastation caused by the fire.PUSD had 3,500 students displaced after the fire, and Britt helped support the district in communications to first locate families and then provide them with vital information for recovery efforts and the return to school.

Source: Thurmond Appoints New Communications Director – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

Nearly $11 Million Early Childhood Education Grant – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today that the California Department of Education (CDE) was awarded a federal Preschool Development Birth Through Five Initial Grant Award for $10,620,000 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families. It was one of 45 states/territories that received the grant award.

These grants help states analyze and enhance their early learning and care systems to maximize the availability of high-quality early learning and care options for low-income and disadvantaged families. It will also help California improve the quality of early childhood care by streamlining administrative and funding systems.

“This grant helps streamline access to early education through more effective and efficient operations,” said Thurmond. “That in turn will help us take a step towards meeting the crucial goal of expanding these programs and reducing the achievement gap.”

Source: Nearly $11 Million Early Childhood Education Grant – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

Thurmond Appoints Deputy Supt of Govt Affairs – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today that he has appointed a new Deputy Superintendent for the California Department of Education’s (CDE) Government Affairs Division.

Khieem Jackson will lead the Government Affairs Division and serve as CDE’s liaison with local, state, and federal elected officials and government agencies. Jackson brings a wealth of expertise to CDE, with a diverse background in federal, state, and local government advocacy, along with extensive international experience as an officer in the United States Marine Corps (USMC).

“I am thrilled to have Khieem Jackson join our team as Deputy Superintendent of Government Affairs,” Thurmond said. “He is a strong advocate for students who need the most assistance, and brings invaluable insight from throughout the world supporting service members and their families.”

Source: Thurmond Appoints Deputy Supt of Govt Affairs – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

Supt Thurmond Calls Governor’s Budget a Home Run – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today praised Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2019–20.

“Governor Newsom hit a home run in his first budget in education and across the board. The budget is thoughtful and balanced and makes good use of public funds, but it is appropriately aggressive in its focus on helping Californians who need it most,” he said.

Governor Newsom proposed increasing K–12 education by $2.3 billion, investing $1.8 billion in early education, and providing $3.7 billion to help all districts deal with rising pension costs, which are stressing budgets of districts throughout the state. The pension aspect of his budget includes a proposed a one-time $3 billion contribution to CalSTRS and $700 million in each of fiscal year 2019–20 and 2020–21 to reduce the rates districts are charged for their employees’ pensions.

Source: Supt Thurmond Calls Governor’s Budget a Home Run – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

Tony Thurmond Sworn In as CA State Superintendent – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

Tony Thurmond, educator and public school parent, took his oath of office as California’s twenty-eighth State Superintendent of Public Instruction Monday, saying that it is an honor to lead the state’s 6.2 million students and over 10,000 schools.

He said his own life story underscored the vital need for all students, regardless of income, race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or immigration status, to have a first-class education.

“I grew up in poverty and without my parents,” he said. “But I was raised by a cousin, an amazing woman, who made certain that I got a great education. That’s what got me where I am today, and that’s what I want for my two daughters and all students. I pledge to devote all my energy, talent, experience, and all the powers of my office to ensure all students get a great education.”

“But I need help. I’m asking everyone to join me. Help with your local schools. If you can, find a way to be a mentor, a volunteer, or contribute to a fundraiser.”

Source: Tony Thurmond Sworn In as CA State Superintendent – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)