January 5, 2022
State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Lays Out Needed Resources for California Schools
Efforts to add 10,000 mental health clinicians and to retain 15,000 teachers
LOS ANGELES—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today held a press conference at George Washington Preparatory High School, a site that also hosts a health clinic providing COVID-19 testing, vaccines, and boosters. There he outlined a number of key proposals to provide resources and supports to allow students to heal, recover, and thrive.
Thurmond began by addressing programs helping California schools get through this extremely difficult period of the pandemic, and that will transform California schools, including universal meals, universal transitional kindergarten for every four-year old, and universal expanded learning programs offering tutoring, mentoring, and coaching—because learning happens before school, during school, and after school.
“We are focused on recovery and dealing with impacts, but we cannot lessen our efforts to close the learning gaps that we were trying to close even before the pandemic,” said Thurmond. “We want to think about what we are going to do for California schools for the next several years to help them, and help our students to thrive.”
In today’s announcement, Thurmond outlined proposals that will help students and families address the trauma faced during the pandemic, make progress towards learning recovery, and address teacher and school staff shortages, student mental health needs, and more.
“I am announcing a new work group that is focused on one thing: How are we going to build the workforce for California schools? We will look at everything from compensation to building a pathway for someone who might want to become a bus driver, for someone who wants to become a teacher, and we will talk about how to steer the resources that the state of California now has to help us broaden and diversify our workforce.”
In the area of mental health supports, Thurmond spoke about the California Community Schools Partnership Program, a $3 billion program that will bring supports directly to schools, including health resources, mental health resources, and social service resources.
“I am pleased to share with you today that we will be pursuing a program that will help us have 10,000 more mental health clinicians in the state of California,“ Thurmond said. “I can’t think of anything more important right now in dealing with the trauma that students and families have experienced.”
Thurmond was joined at the event today by Dr. Jon Goldfinger, CEO of Didi Hirsch; Mykol Lewis, program director, Brotherhood Crusade; and Carolyn Fowler, district director, Los Angeles Unified School District.
In his remarks, the State Superintendent also announced his intention to work to retain 15,000 teachers currently working in California schools by providing them with additional induction supports. A copy of the State Superintendent’s Heal, Recover, and Thrive: The Needed Resources for California Schools proposal is available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.An archived video broadcast of the State Superintendent’s full remarks can be found on the California Department of Education’s Facebook page .
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Tony Thurmond —
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100