California Educator

December 2018 / January 2019

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forward to working with Tony to ensure all students succeed." Thurmond sai d th e el e ction showed that Californians share values when it comes to public education and giving all students the opportunity for success. "I want to thank the voters of California for electing me to serve the 6 million students of Califor- nia. I intend to be a champion of public schools and a Superintendent for all California students," Superintendent-elect urmond said. "I ran for superintendent of public instruction to deliver to all Californians the promise that public education delivered to me – that all students, no matter their background and no matter their challenges, can succeed with a great public education." Major victories up and down the ballot Even before urmond's victory, California's kids were the big winners on Election Day, as Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom and nearly all of CTA's recommended candi- dates for state office emerged victorious, with educators playing crucial roles in the victories. "As educators w ho care deeply for our students, we stood in unity with Gavin," Heins said. "His elec- tion sends a clear message that in California we care about free public education for all students regard- l e ss of th e c olor of th eir skin , th eir reli gion , th eir gender or their station in life." CTA-supported candidates were wildly successful in th e el e ction : X av i er B e c erra w i l l re m a i n C a li f o r n i a's a tt o r n e y general, Alex Padilla continues as secretary of state, Betty Yee remains controller, Fiona Ma w on st at e trea surer, Ri cardo Lara won election to insurance commissioner, and Malia Cohen was elected for Board of Equalization District 2. Additionally, voters agreed with educators in rejecting Propositions 5 and 6, which would have cut resources for education and transportation, and approving Proposition 4, which will help provide health services to children. And it wouldn't be the Year of the Teacher without som e of our own CTA educators winning election to school boards from Fallbrook to Fremont, Westminster to West Sacramento and many communities in between. These victories were part of a historic midterm Election Day across the countr y, which saw the #RedForEd Move- ment help f lip more than 300 state legislative seats, elect more than 100 women to U.S. Con- gress, and switch the majority party in the U.S. House of Representatives, which will provide a major check on the power of Betsy DeVos and her effect on public education. Nationally, more than 1,000 teachers, professors, education sup- port professionals , and administrators won state and local legislative seats — about two-thirds of almost 1,800 current or former educators who sought office this campaign season, according to NEA. About 100 other educators ran for top state or federal seats, with many more running for seats on school boards and other local offices. After the widespread activism of the "Educator Spring" — teachers' uprisings in West Virginia, Arizona, Oklahoma, Kentucky and Colorado — pub- lic education became a centerpiece issue in major elections across the country. Voter support for public schools in the election shows that 2018 may be a turning point. "Lawmakers learned an important lesson tonight: You can either work with educators to address the needs of students and public edu- cation, or they will work to elect someone who will," said NEA President Lily Eskelsen García. "Candidates across the country witnessed unprec- edented activism by educators in their races. Standing up for students and supporting public education were deciding factors for voters, and educators will hold lawmakers to their promises." The race for state superintendent is just the latest example of vot- ers siding with public school students, educators and opportunity for all over the billionaires and corpo- rate interests who want to dismantle public education. Heins was proud of C a li f o r n i a n s f o r s e e i n g t h r o u g h t h e c a m p a i g n pr o p a ga n d a a n d s h o w i n g widespread support for public schools with their votes. "Electing Tony Thurmond as stat e superintendent and Gavin Newsom as governor were our top priorities," he said. "Tony prevailed in the most expensive race for a statewide schools' chief in the history of U.S. politics because California voters know he will advocate for all students. e misleading attack ads against Tony by the billionaire allies of his oppo- nent backfired as voters rejected their agenda to take money from our neighborhood public schools to give to their corporate charter schools. Both urmond and Newsom will treat our schools as community cen- ters, not profit centers." " Standing up for students and supporting public education were deciding factors for voters, and educators will hold lawmakers to their promises." — Lily Eskelsen García, NEA President Thurmond trailed by 86,000 votes on election night before surging ahead as mail-in votes were tallied. 41 D E C E M B E R 2 018 / J A N U A R Y 2 019

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