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Initiatives & Programs

Learn more about the initiatives and programs sponsored by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Priority Initiatives

Below is a list of State Superintendent Tony Thurmond's key initiatives.


Visit the 2021-22 Back to School Resources webpage for key information important to families and educators as students return to campus for safe, in-person instruction.

Back-to-School Resources

Innovation Challenge

The CA Digital Divide Innovation Challenge is an open, global competition that mobilizes inventor, entrepreneurs, researchers, and other innovators from public and private sectors to develop technology and strategic partnerships for universal affordable broadband internet access across the state. We will greenlight the boldest proposals driving collaborative solutions that can help all learners immediately and include California's students, educators, and families.

Innovation Challenge

Closing the Digital Divide

The Closing the Digital Divide Initiative focuses on identifying needed resources and partnerships to support distance learning in California schools. Superintendent Thurmond and his Closing the Digital Divide Task Force have been working to help equip all California students with computing devices and connectivity to ensure equitable teaching and learning environments.

Closing the Digital Divide

Statewide Literacy

WHY: We want to improve reading levels throughout the state.

HOW: Provide books to students, training to teachers, and resources to families to reinforce the importance of reading.

Reducing Chronic Absenteeism

WHY: Students in grades K–3 miss more than 10 percent of school; districts lose integral revenue from loss of Average Daily Attendance (ADA).

HOW: Expand the number of staff dedicated to outreach to help students get back to school.

Closing the Achievement Gap

WHY: Students of color historically score lower than their white peers in California classrooms.

HOW: Expand California Department of Education (CDE) capacity to lead state-level equity work to build a pipeline of male teachers of color in elementary schools.

Jobs for Tomorrow

WHY: We want all students to have equal access to Science,Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) and Computer Science programs.

HOW: Increase CDE capacity to lead state STEAM efforts to increase the number of districts that offer courses and internships.

A copy of the flyer outlining these initiatives may be found here (PDF).

Focus on the First 100 Days

  • Assessing and building organizational capacity.
  • Supporting our local education agencies (LEAs) to address strikes.
  • Strengthening relationships with the Governor and Legislature to increase funding for K–12 programs.
  • Leading the Governor's task force on charter school reform.
  • Working with LEAs to create new ways to provide teacher and educator housing, which helps with teacher recruitment and retention.

Transition Team Work Groups

Launched transition work groups to invigorate efforts to address major issues in education and to engage new stakeholders and partners.

  1. Closing the Achievement Gap
  2. Teacher Shortage
  3. Improving Literacy
  4. Improving Special Education
  5. Increasing K–12 Funding
  6. College Affordability
  7. Early Education
  8. Jobs of Tomorrow
  9. Dual Language
  10. Professional Development
  11. Improving Data Collection
  12. Addressing Pension Obligations
  13. Student Health & Safety


Upcoming Forums

None scheduled

Previous Forums

State Superintendent Thurmond has hosted a number of forums since taking office.

2020 Census

2020 Census

Charter Schools Task Force

Governor Newsom requested that Superintendent Thurmond convene a group of experts to closely examine the impact of charter school growth on district budgets and to provide a report with recommendations by July 1, 2019. The task force has been meeting regularly since early March, and has culminated with a report that has both recommendations that were unanimously agreed upon by the task force members as well as discussed proposals that did not meet full consensus.

Looking for more?

Questions:   Executive Office | 916-319-0800
Last Reviewed: Thursday, September 9, 2021
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