State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today celebrated the signing of Assembly Bill (AB) 1078 (Jackson), which bans “book bans” in schools, prohibits censorship of instructional materials, and strengthens California law requiring schools to provide all students access to textbooks that teach about California’s diverse communities. AB 1078, an urgency statute, took effect immediately when it was signed yesterday, and California is only one of two states enacting a law to halt book bans. AB1078 was one of several bills Superintendent Thurmond sponsored to strengthen supports for more inclusive education that were recently signed by the Governor.
“AB 1078 sends a strong signal to the people of California—but also to every American—that in the Golden State, we don’t ban books, we cherish them,” said Superintendent Thurmond. “This law will serve as a model for the nation that California recognizes and understands the moment we are in—and while some want to roll back the clock on progress, we are doubling down on forward motion. Rather than limiting access to education and flat-out banning books like other states, we are embracing and expanding opportunities for knowledge and education, because that’s the California way.”
Source: SPI-Sponsored Bill to Halt Book Bans Signed – Year 2023 (CA Dept of Education)
Amid reports of a spike in crime, including crimes committed by juveniles, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond is developing a new program to help youth prepare for bright futures and to help prevent youth from engaging in crime.
Thurmond announced today that he will be working with partners to develop a paid internship program to help teens and young adults earn while they learn about career pathways. Youth will also be connected with career advisors who will help them learn about career and employment opportunities to ensure they have a secure role in the global economy in the years ahead, which will benefit not only themselves and their families but their respective surrounding communities.
Source: SPI’s Summit to Support Youth and Reduce Crime – Year 2023 (CA Dept of Education)
Eleven bills sponsored by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond and seven bills Thurmond supports have achieved a significant milestone: They were successfully passed by both the State Senate and the State Assembly. The bills, which largely address inclusive education, the teacher pipeline, and student well-being and success, are now on the desk of Governor Gavin Newsom, who has until October 14, 2023, to sign the bills into law.
“I’m pleased that these key pieces of legislation, which protect inclusive education, help open the teacher pipeline, and support the mental health and well-being of students, have passed the Legislature and are now being considered by the Governor,” Thurmond said. “This is an important step in building a brighter future for all of California’s students. I applaud the efforts of our legislators and everyone involved who worked on these important pieces of legislation.”
One of the key pieces of legislation to protect inclusive education is Assembly Bill (AB) 1078. Authored by Assemblymember Corey Jackson (D-Perris) and sponsored by Thurmond, AB 1078 will allow a fine to be assessed on any district that has insufficient instructional materials, especially in an attempt to discriminate against students of color or LGBTQ+ students. If signed into law by the Governor, an urgency clause would allow AB 1078 to take effect immediately.
Source: SPI Bills Now on Governor’s Desk for Signature – Year 2023 (CA Dept of Education)
Against a backdrop of culture wars being waged by states and some California school districts, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond and the California Department of Education (CDE) are doubling down on efforts to promote inclusive education as a strategy to help improve student performance. Thurmond and the CDE announced a series of ethnic studies webinars that includes a “Train the Trainer” webinar on August 2 on how to use the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum guide that will be attended by more than 600 participants and a webinar on August 16 to help local educational agencies (LEAs) provide an ethnic studies graduation requirement by the 2026 state deadline to which all 1,000 LEAs in the state have been invited. Special guests and ethnic studies champions attending the August 16 webinar include labor movement icon Dolores Huerta; California Secretary of State Dr. Shirley Weber; and former Assemblymember Jose Medina, who authored Assembly Bill (AB) 101, a bill that will make California the first state to require all students to complete a semester-long course in ethnic studies to earn a high school diploma. Thurmond sponsored AB 101.
Source: SPI Doubles Down on Inclusive Education Efforts – Year 2023 (CA Dept of Education)
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond will host a Teacher Recruitment Summit at the California Department of Education (1430 N Street, Sacramento, CA 95814) on August 14, 2023, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in State Board Room 1101. Thurmond and guests will address the media at 10:30 a.m.
The Teacher Recruitment Summit is open to individuals from all organizations focused on work in this area, which includes teacher credentialing programs, school districts and county offices of education, pipeline programs, and AmeriCorps programs. This event will formally launch a coalition to engage in direct recruitment of teacher candidates on a statewide basis.
Source: SSPI Convenes Teacher Recruitment Summit – Year 2023 (CA Dept of Education)
Against a backdrop of culture wars being waged by states and some California school districts, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond and the California Department of Education (CDE) are doubling down on efforts to promote inclusive education as a strategy to help improve student performance. Thurmond and the CDE announced a series of ethnic studies webinars that includes a “Train the Trainer” webinar on August 2 on how to use the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum guide that will be attended by more than 600 participants and a webinar on August 16 to help local educational agencies (LEAs) provide an ethnic studies graduation requirement by the 2026 state deadline to which all 1,000 LEAs in the state have been invited. Special guests and ethnic studies champions attending the August 16 webinar include labor movement icon Dolores Huerta; California Secretary of State Dr. Shirley Weber; and former Assemblymember Jose Medina, who authored Assembly Bill (AB) 101, a bill thatwill make California the first state to require all students to complete a semester-long course in ethnic studies to earn a high school diploma. Thurmond sponsored AB 101.
Source: SPI Doubles Down on Inclusive Education Efforts – Year 2023 (CA Dept of Education)
The California State Board of Education today approved the 2023 Mathematics Framework for California Public Schools, instructional guidance for educators that affirms California’s commitment to ensuring equity and excellence in math learning for all students.
“I’m thankful for everyone who worked tirelessly to develop this framework to ensure California’s students have equitable access to rigorous and high-quality math instruction that will prepare them for the future. The framework has struck a great balance in new ways to engage students in developing a love for math while supporting those on an accelerated path,” said Mary Nicely, Chief Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction. “Our State Superintendent is a champion of equity and excellence, and it is our core mission that every child—regardless of race, ZIP code, or background—has access to a quality education. The approval of the revised Math Framework is one more step forward to meeting the needs of all California’s students.”
Source: California Approves Revised Math Framework – Year 2023 (CA Dept of Education)
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today hosted a Progress Pride Flag Raising Ceremony and reception at the California Department of Education (CDE) to mark the first day of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) Pride Month. For the first time ever, in honor of LGBTQ+ Pride Month, the flag will fly at the CDE headquarters in Sacramento from June 1 through June 30.
“This flag is a representation and celebration of our diverse community and student body in the state of California,” said State Superintendent Thurmond. “We raise the Progress Pride Flag at the California Department of Education to stand in solidarity with our Black, indigenous, people of color, transgender, and intersectional queer students, educators, administrators, and families. At a time when there are leaders—nationally and right here in California—set on rolling back personal rights and banning texts that address issues of racism or sexual identity, the California Department of Education and I want to make it clear that we stand with our LGBTQ+ students and educators, and we applaud the many board members who have continued to uphold inclusivity.”
Source: SPI Hosts Historic Progress Pride Flag Raising – Year 2023 (CA Dept of Education)
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond provided testimony at a joint hearing of the California Assembly Select Committees on Fentanyl, Opioid Addiction, and Overdose Prevention; Public Safety; and Health to share updates on efforts he and the California Department of Education (CDE) have undertaken to address the ongoing opioid crisis that claimed the lives of over 6,800 Californians in 2021 alone
“There are plenty of resources to help. We all have the ability to help save a life,” Thurmond said. “So we encourage students who need help to call 9-8-8 and obviously any one of our thousand school districts can contact the CDE directly for help on how to access Narcan, drug prevention, education, and substance abuse treatment programs. I want to assure these committees and the people of California that my team at the CDE and I are doing what we can to fight the fentanyl epidemic. We are focused not only on prevention and education but effective treatments, especially naloxone (Narcan)—a lifesaving drug when administered after an opioid overdose.”
Source: SPI Pledges to Help Counter the Fentanyl Crisis – Year 2023 (CA Dept of Education)
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond joined fellow proponents of Proposition 28, passed by voters in 2022, to launch the Promise of Proposition 28 in Los Angeles on May 22, 2023. Proposition 28 provides nearly $1 billion annually in funding for arts and music throughout California schools so students in all grades can participate in arts and music programs. Superintendent Thurmond joined initiative proponents including former Los Angeles Deputy Mayor Austin Beutner, artists Aloe Blacc and Will.i.am, the California Teachers Association, and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) 99 as well as philanthropists, school administrators, current arts and music educators, education union representatives, and aspiring arts educators at the Music Center in L.A. to discuss how the $933 million in funding will be rolled out this fall for the 2023–24 school year.
“California voters overwhelmingly voted to support this nation-leading investment—the largest investment in arts and music education in the country,” Superintendent Thurmond, an early proponent of Proposition 28, said. “The arts are a necessary part of a well-rounded education. We know the arts help kids connect with school and have a positive impact on student attendance and school climate. With these funds, we are providing every student with a creative outlet.”
Source: SPI Announces Implementation of Proposition 28 – Year 2023 (CA Dept of Education)
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today honored six outstanding math and science teachers from California who are finalists for the 2023 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).
“Let me offer my sincere congratulations to these educators who we honor for their leadership and instructional practices and how they are inspiring a new generation with passion and talent for science, technology, engineering, and math,” Thurmond said. “They model excellence in how we are preparing California students for the challenges and advancements of the future.”The PAEMST program is administered by the National Science Foundation on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
The PAEMST is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government specifically for kindergarten through grade twelve science, mathematics, engineering, and computer science teaching. For 2022–23, those who teach grades seven through twelve were eligible for the award. Presidential Award recipients are honored at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., and receive a $10,000 special award from the National Science Foundation.
Source: SPI Names California PAEMST Finalists – Year 2023 (CA Dept of Education)
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond will convene a webinar to assist school districts in building strategies to counter declining enrollment. Thurmond will host and moderate the webinar on Tuesday, May 23, 2023, at 10:30 a.m.
“It has been our priority to ensure that students and families are engaged in public schools and that schools meet the needs of families,” said Thurmond. “This will be the first of many conversations in efforts to help school districts counter declining enrollment.”
School districts across the state are experiencing a high level of declining enrollment. In April, the California Department of Education (CDE) released the statewide student enrollment data report. Even before the pandemic, many California communities were observing population drops and corresponding lower student enrollment. The pandemic exacerbated declines as students left public schools, left the state and, in some cases, left the country.
Source: SPI Seeks to Counter Declining Enrollment – Year 2023 (CA Dept of Education)
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today issued the following statement in response to Governor Gavin Newsom’s revised budget for fiscal year 2023–24:
“Even in difficult budgetary times, we continue to be grateful that Governor Newsom’s May Revise retains many of the major investments that have been made to public education over the last few years. With a tightening State Budget, education spending will continue to reflect our core values to provide safe and effective learning environments, to help our students heal and recover, and to provide equitable opportunities for a quality education to all students. This budget continues our commitment to learning recovery and flexibility for local educational agencies to adapt to their particular conditions and unique needs.
“California will make critical investments in education, including a substantial 8.22 percent cost-of-living adjustment for the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) to support our school districts in meeting the specific needs of their schools and community more effectively than with restrictive one-time funds.”
Source: SPI Thurmond on Education Budget-May Revise – Year 2023 (CA Dept of Education)
State Superintendent Tony Thurmond has been recognized with the prestigious Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Region 16 Leadership Award for his achievements and dedication to public education and for his service to the children of California. The award was presented at an awards ceremony on Tuesday that took place in front of 400 administrators from the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), underscoring their unwavering support for Thurmond’s mission of equity. Steve Zimmer, Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction at the California Department of Education (CDE), accepted the award on behalf of Superintendent Thurmond, who could not attend the event in person because of his role as the neutral mediator of the teachers strike in the ongoing labor dispute in Oakland.
“I am deeply honored to receive the ACSA Region 16 Leadership Award, and I regret that I could not be there in person to accept it. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the ACSA Region 16 and all those who have recognized my efforts and dedication to public education,” Superintendent Thurmond said. “I look forward to continuing my work and collaborating with LAUSD and all other educators, administrators, and communities across the state to ensure that every student receives the opportunities and quality education they deserve. Together, we can build a brighter future for all of California’s students.”
Source: SPI Thurmond Honored with ACSA Region 16 Award – Year 2023 (CA Dept of Education)
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today honored nine outstanding classified school employees for their dedication to California’s public school students.
“My heartfelt congratulations go to these outstanding employees for going the extra mile to step up and support California’s students so they can continue to learn,” said Thurmond. “These dedicated employees make sure kids have healthy meals, safe campuses and transportation, and systems and supports during difficult and unexpected changes—ensuring all students are supported in their lives and in their education.”
The annual Classified School Employees of the Year (CSEY) program honors outstanding classified school employees in the following categories: Paraprofessional Services, Clerical and Administrative Services, Transportation Services, Food and Nutrition Services, Custodial and Maintenance Services, Security Services, Health and Student Services, Technical Services, and Skilled Trades Services. This year’s recipients were chosen from 151 nominations statewide. The 2023 award-winners will be honored by Thurmond at a luncheon in Sacramento on May 23, 2023.
Source: 2023 CA Classified School Employees of the Year – Year 2023 (CA Dept of Education)
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond was recently given an award for Excellence in Leadership by one of the state’s premier financial literacy organizations, the California Council on Economic Education. Thurmond championed financial literacy during his time as a legislator and previously established a nonprofit program for helping at-risk youth develop their entrepreneurial skills called CEO Youth. Thurmond is now working to have personal finance included as a California high school graduation requirement.
After encountering political difficulties on legislation he sponsored to require that schools teach personal finance (Assembly Bill 984), Thurmond has shifted his focus to getting a ballot measure passed that would require schools to teach personal finance. Thurmond is partnering with Next Gen Personal Finance External link opens in new window or tab. to launch the ballot measure campaign.
Thurmond and Next Gen Personal Finance are embarking on a listening tour to get input from school leaders about how to successfully implement a personal finance graduation requirement. Thurmond intends to host a personal finance convening in May that will show school districts how to implement personal finance courses partially through utilizing resources that were provided to schools to support financial literacy. Thurmond and other advocates are hoping to leverage the more than $3.6 billion allocated to schools in 2022 to support financial literacy and help schools begin laying the foundation for providing personal finance classes in schools while efforts to get a ballot measure passed are underway.
Source: SPI Receives Award for Economic Education – Year 2023 (CA Dept of Education)
The California Department of Education (CDE) released data today that show student enrollment is beginning to stabilize with increased enrollment in kindergarten and grades seven and eleven.
The increases held enrollment statewide to a 0.67 percent decline, which pushes closer to pre-pandemic trends. The enrollment trend mirrors reports from other states, including Michigan External link opens in new window or tab., Virginia External link opens in new window or tab. and Illinois External link opens in new window or tab.
The numbers released today are from a point-in-time “Census Day” headcount taken on October 5, 2022. The data are reported to the state by local educational agencies (LEAs), which include more than 900 school districts, 58 county offices of education, and about 1,300 charter schools. Changes are anticipated as a more detailed picture of enrollment becomes available later this year. This additional information will include local corrections to submitted data and student population fluctuations during the year.
Source: CDE Releases Data to Show Increased Enrollment – Year 2023 (CA Dept of Education)
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond met with students at Berkeley High School today to discuss the benefits of financial literacy and personal finance courses. Superintendent Thurmond is working to make sure elective classes like these are taught at all California high schools with his financial literacy bill, Assembly Bill 984 (McCarty), co-sponsored with California State Treasurer Fiona Ma, which would make personal finance and financial literacy a high school graduation requirement.
Students spoke about what they have learned in the class and how it has helped them make financial decisions. They also shared their support for making personal finance courses available to all high school students.
“Young Californians are entering the workforce and higher education with very little understanding of financial literacy. This is deeply concerning, since students with higher financial literacy are more likely to invest in a savings account, prepare for retirement, and manage their debt,” Superintendent Thurmond said. “Access to financial literacy is also an equity issue that is directly reflected through racial wealth gaps. Only 27 percent of California high school students attend schools that offer personal finance classes. Ensuring that all young Californians have exposure to financial literacy is a vital step in closing inequality gaps and providing the skills and resources to improve their lives overall.”
Source: SPI Addresses Student Financial Literacy Benefits – Year 2023 (CA Dept of Education)
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today joined U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack, California First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom, West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) leadership, and state and federal stakeholders on a visit to Betty Reid Soskin Middle School to hear more about the district’s innovative farm-to-school program.
Soskin Middle School serves 450 students—60 percent of whom are considered to be socioeconomically disadvantaged—and is the frontline of the vital work of feeding students healthy school meals through the California Universal Meals Program. The school is named after Betty Reid Soskin, a pioneering Bay Area civil rights activist and the nation’s oldest National Park Ranger, who was designated as an Ambassador to California Education by Thurmond in September 2021.
“As we celebrate National Nutrition Month and National School Breakfast Week, I take great pride in promoting the fact that California became the first state in the United States to implement a statewide universal meals program for all school-age children within the public education system. As a result, millions of children access two free healthy meals during each school day. And not only that, but we have also supported other states in following suit,” Superintendent Thurmond said. “The Universal Meals Program removes the stigma associated with free and reduced-price school meals and is a critical component in the framework for the Transforming California Schools Initiative designed to create one cohesive educational system with integrated, interdependent strategies.”
Source: Efforts to Support Student Access to Healthy Meals – Year 2023 (CA Dept of Education)
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond visited the Jordan Academy of Language and Computer Science in the Orange Unified School District on Friday morning. Thurmond joined students, parents, and teachers in celebrating Read Across America Week in remembrance of the late Dr. Seuss.
“A book can be a passport to any part of California or the world or a passport to the past or the future,” Thurmond said. “A book can help us understand where we are from, can teach us our history and the best way forward. Reading takes you on a journey, a lifelong journey of adventure. Books are valuable for many reasons—but I like to read mainly because it is fun.”
Jordan Academy of Language and Computer Science received a California School Boards Association Golden Bell Award as an innovative and sustainable program that makes a demonstrated difference with a focus on meeting the needs of all students.
Source: SPI Honors Read Across America Week – Year 2023 (CA Dept of Education)