Statement from CFT President Joshua Pechthalt

News Release

For Immediate Release: June 14, 2017

Statement from CFT president Joshua Pechthalt:

Thurmond for State Superintendent of Public Instruction

“At its Executive Council meeting last weekend the California Federation of Teachers enthusiastically and unanimously endorsed Assemblymember Tony Thurmond for State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

“Thurmond has demonstrated time and again he is a champion of public education. His policy positions solidly align him with the needs of students, parents, and educators. Recognizing the critical need to address California’s teacher shortage, he advocates for attracting and retaining qualified teachers by providing affordable housing, recruitment bonuses, scholarships and higher wages. He supports raising California up from near the bottom of the states in per pupil funding through progressive tax reforms. He sponsored a bill to bolster early childhood education enrollment by taxing private prison corporations.

“Thurmond has worked tirelessly to reduce truancy, expand community schools, and facilitate restorative justice programs. He has crafted bills to help foster youth go to college.

“In distinction to the Trump/DeVos regime, Thurmond—a former school board member—opposes vouchers and other schemes to shift taxpayer dollars from public education to private hands. He believes charter schools should be held to the same standards of access, transparency and accountability as public schools, and firmly opposes for-profit charters.

“A former social worker, Thurmond recognizes that factors outside of school can impede teaching and learning. Because he understands the hardships students face, Thurmond supports expanding school-based health, mental health, and social service programs. He believes health care is a right, not a privilege.

“This unanimous endorsement vote by CFT’s executive council reflects the views of our members at all levels of the union, from early childhood through the UC system. We are proud to stand with Tony Thurmond for State Superintendent of Public Instruction.”

The California Federation of Teachers represents 120,000 faculty and school employees in public and private schools and colleges, from early childhood through higher education. It is the statewide affiliate of the AFT. More info:

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