Tony Thurmond Talks Plans and Priorities With School Administrators

California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond met Friday with members of the Santa Barbara County Education Office (SBCEO) and the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Region 13, which represents San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura. The visit was a chance to discuss the Department of Education’s plans and priorities for the year ahead.

“Administrators throughout Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Ventura Counties spent valuable time sharing about local issues affecting our schools,” said Santa Barbara County Superintendent of Schools Susan Salcido (Edhat). “We appreciate Superintendent Thurmond’s insight and attention to state level matters and how they may impact us locally. We are all focused on priorities and actions that support our schools and help students thrive.”

“On behalf of ACSA Region 13, I’m grateful Superintendent Thurmond and Assemblymember Limón accepted our invitation to talk with school leaders about the needs of our local students and districts,” said South County ACSA Chair and Peabody Charter School Principal/Superintendent Demian Barnett. “It was a unique opportunity for us to partner with SBCEO, and to share important information and advocate for the Central Coast.”

Thurmond outlined four main policy goals: 1) statewide literacy 2) reducing chronic absenteeism 3) closing the achievement gap and 4) increased access to STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) programs.

Just one day earlier, during a visit to Terra Linda High School in San Rafael, Thurmond announced the creation of a state equity office within the Department of Education for STEAM. 

“If it’s cheaper to send someone to Harvard than to prison,” he said “then, damn, let’s send them to Harvard.”