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AdvocacyPublic, legislative and legal advocacy

Note: CSBA does not endorse individual candidates for elected office in any local or statewide races. The content of this page is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an endorsement for any candidate(s).

June 5, 2018 Primary Information

The eight candidates below have emerged as frontrunners in the races for Superintendent of Public Instruction and for Governor. Each candidate’s education platform, as published on their respective websites, is briefly summarized below with a link to each candidate’s full platform. Videos of each candidate’s appearance at CSBA’s 2017 Annual Education Conference in San Diego are also included.

The two candidates in each race receiving the highest percentage of the June vote will head to a runoff on the November ballot. While less likely to occur with four candidates in the running, if one candidate were to receive a majority (50 percent +1) of the vote in the non-partisan SPI race in June, that race would be officially decided by on the primary vote and would not go to a November runoff.

View all certified candidates for June 5 primary | Certified candidates contact list

2018 Superintendent of Public Instruction Candidates

Candidates listed in alphabetical order:

Tony Thurmond | State Assemblymember, 15th District | Website 
Assembly Education Committee member Tony Thurmond, who introduces his 16-point education plan with the phrase, “public schools saved my life,” puts school safety atop his list of priorities, vowing to “invest in commonsense mental health services and gun violence prevention programs for our students and educators.” On school funding, he declares his intent to 1) bring California to the top ten states in per-pupil funding by 2022, and to #1 in the nation by 2026 (and states that he has a plan to do so), 2) appoint a group of business, education, and government leaders to identify strategies for developing new permanent funding streams to improve education funding and 3) work with state lawmakers to change the voter threshold for passing local parcel taxes from two-thirds majority to 55 percent in all districts. He also offers a plan to make for-profit charters schools illegal and increase the transparency and accountability for taxpayer-funded charter schools, requiring public hearings and disclosures of conflicts of interest. He would also conduct a “comprehensive review of the LCFF to ensure that funding is spent as efficiently and effectively as possible” and “ensure all LCFF funding data is available online so the public can see how their tax dollars are being spent.”

Tony Thurmond at AEC (11.30.17):


Marshall Tuck | Schools Improvement Director | Website
Former Partnership for Los Angeles Schools CEO and Green Dot Public Schools president Marshall Tuck, a runner up to Tom Torlakson in the 2016 SPI race, restarts his campaign with a five point plan: “Invest in teachers and principals,” “Schools for the 21st Century,” “A system that works for all kids,” “Classrooms that are fully funded” and “SPI & CDE that works for schools.” He proposes free college and credentialing for those who commit to teach for at least five years and increased compensation for educators working in high-needs schools, and touts universal pre-K as a top priority. He advocates the following policy changes related to charter schools in his plan: 1) Making for-profit charter schools illegal, 2) Requiring charter schools to be transparent by following the Brown Act and complying with public records requests, 3) Ensuring there are no harmful conflicts-of-interest at charter schools, and 4) Ensuring that public schools welcome all students.

Marshall Tuck at AEC (12.1.17):

2018 Gubernatorial Candidates

Candidates listed in alphabetical order:

Travis Allen | State Assemblymember, 72nd District | Website
Assemblymember Allen, representing Huntington Beach and nearby cities since 2012, hosts a briefly-stated education platform on his website that reads, in part: “Our children deserve better. They deserve safe schools where great teachers are rewarded and bad teachers are fired. That is why Travis has introduced pro-parent choice legislation every year in the Legislature to allow parents to choose what is best for their children’s education, not un-elected Sacramento bureaucrats. California needs more charter schools and greater school choice to truly educate our children.”

Travis Allen at AEC (12.2.17):

John Chiang | California State Treasurer | Website
The “Road Map for Education” laid out by Chiang – California’s Treasurer since 2014 and Controller for the prior eight years – includes a plan to “shatter the political ceiling,” He states that “while Proposition 98 was meant to create a constitutional ‘floor’ for education spending, it has turned into a political ceiling.” Chiang lauds California voters’ decision to lower the vote threshold for local school construction funding from two-thirds to 55 percent and would support communities “raising funds for their school budgets in the same manner.” He also would “level the playing field” by making SAT/ACT preparation available to all public high school students as an elective class, touts the importance of wraparound services and supports student loan forgiveness and residency/mentoring programs for teachers.

John Chiang at AEC (12.2.17):

John Cox | Businessman | Website
A private businessman, Cox’s briefly stated policy agenda does not mention education or public schools. His agenda reads, in part: “We have the highest income tax rate in the nation, and rank dead last in friendliness to business; We have the highest poverty rate in the country; Our unfunded public pension liability is double that of any other state and we haven’t even begun to fund our huge public retiree health care liability…The only possible way to rescue California from a likely financial melt-down is to unshackle small business, roll back oppressive regulations and focus on economic growth.”

John Cox at AEC (12.2.17):


Delaine Eastin | Former Superintendent of Public Instruction | Website
Former SPI Eastin delineates her platform by breaking it out into three age/academic ranges. At 0-5, she supports improvements to prenatal and delivery care and would seek three months of fully paid maternity and paternity leave, affordable child care and universal high-quality  preschool for all in five years. For K-12, her umbrella goal is to move California from the bottom 10 into the top 10 in per pupil spending. At the college & career level, she would make college at UC, CSU and community college free for in-state students and supports building new colleges and technical schools.

Delaine Eastin at AEC (12.2.17):


Gavin Newsom | Lieutenant Governor of California | Website
Newsom, California’s Lt. Governor since 2011, proposes creation of college savings accounts for every incoming kindergartener and would pursue his “California Promise” initiative to guarantee two free years of community college tuition. He proposes support for students in full-service community schools, providing every student access to STEM education and providing pathways to quality jobs by establishing 500,000 earn-and-learn apprenticeships by 2029. He also endeavors to “reassert California as an education data leader” with increased data transparency.

Gavin Newsom at AEC (12.2.17):


Antonio Villaraigosa | Former Mayor of Los Angeles | Website
On school funding, former L.A. mayor Villaraigosa states that, “Proposition 98 is the floor, not the ceiling,” and on school choice proclaims, “high-performing public charters playing by the same set of rules as other public schools are laboratories for innovation and creativity.” Each entry in his "California Students' Bill of Rights" platform begins with “The Right to…” as he spells out the rights to: “demand that decision-makers put students first,” “economic equality,” “be free from the worry of being homeless or housing insecure,” “appropriate school funding,” “access to high-quality schools,” “nutritional food, “teachers who get more pay and more professional training” and “hold every one of us accountable.”

Antonio Villaraigosa at AEC (12.2.17):