Tony Thurmond for Superintendent of Public Instruction

Few races this year feature a starker contrast than the race for Superintendent of Public Instruction. On one side, you have Tony Thurmond, a former school board member and current legislator with deep ties to our public schools. On the other side, you have candidate Marshall Tuck who’s a former Wall Street investment banker and CEO that’s raked in millions from billionaire charter school backers.

Who is Tony Thurmond? As a product of public schools himself, Tony is a longtime advocate for fully funding our local schools so that kids have every opportunity to succeed in the classroom and in life. As a school board member, Tony spearheaded efforts to lower truancy rates and provide after school programs to help those from low-income families reach their full potential. In the state legislature, Tony was a strong supporter of working people and education, serving as chair of the Assembly Labor Committee. As Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tony’s priority is increase investment in public schools to lower class sizes, support teachers, and provide more funding for preschool and after school programs. Tony will work to end the school-to-prison pipeline by investing in a quality education for all children.

Who is Marshall Tuck? Tuck is a former investment banker with the Wall Street firm Salomon Brothers. After his stint on Wall Street, Tuck became the CEO of several charter school chains, Greed Dot Schools and Partnership for Los Angeles Schools. His record at Partnership was abysmal.

According to Erika Jones, an elementary school teacher in LAUSD during Tuck’s tenure and a board member at the California Teachers Association: “Despite receiving millions in private funding, Partnership schools underperformed compared to the district’s schools with similar demographics during Tuck’s tenure in 2009. Tuck’s failed leadership resulted in landslide votes of “no confidence” from teachers at eight of 10 schools he oversaw.”

More about Tuck and his record here

Who supports Thurmond: The California Federation of Teachers, The California Teachers Association, The California School Employees Association, The California Democratic Party and the California Labor Federation.

Who supports Tuck: Billionaire Arthur Rock, whose charter school chain is supported by Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos, billionaire Eli Broad and the California Charter School Association

Why this matters: Charter school billionaires are spending millions of dollars on this race to push their agenda, which siphons money away from local public schools to unaccountable charters. Tuck and the billionaires backing him are looking to use this office as a springboard to take the charter agenda, championed by Trump, DeVos and other conservatives, statewide in California. Thurmond is running to prop up public schools by increasing per-pupil spending, supporting teachers, championing after school and pre-school programs to help at-risk youth. This race will help define the future of our kids’ education.

For working people, the choice is clear: Vote Tony Thurmond!