Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo
California Department of Education
News Release
California Department of Education
News Release
Release: #24-20
April 24, 2024
Contact: Communications
Phone: 916-319-0818

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Issues Statement on the Passing of Former State Superintendent Delaine Eastin

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond issued the following statement this morning on the passing of former State Superintendent Delaine Eastin, the fifth woman in California history to be elected to a statewide constitutional office and the only woman to serve as State Superintendent of Public Instruction. The State Superintendent of Public Instruction oversees more than 10,000 California public schools and approximately six million students.

“California lost an icon in our school system today. Delaine Eastin’s legacy as a trailblazer in public education will forever inspire us. Her unwavering dedication to California students—from championing Universal Preschool and the “A Garden in Every School” program to honoring our educators by establishing the California Teachers of the Year Awards—has left an indelible mark on our state’s educational landscape. It was my privilege to honor her at this year’s California Teachers of the Year gala.

“As the first and only woman to have served as State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Delaine was integral in establishing standards for what students should know and be able to do, then developing statewide assessments to see if students are in fact meeting those standards, and finally holding schools accountable based on whether students were meeting those standards. She was also a visionary who helped to bridge the gap between education and the high-tech industry through initiatives such as Netday with President Bill Clinton, which pioneered the integration of technology in classrooms and helped to ensure that thousands of children had digital access in the early days of the internet.

“Her dedication and foresight in nurturing and preparing students for the future laid the foundation for what is possible for our students today. We will miss you, Delaine.”

# # # #

Tony Thurmond — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

Last Reviewed: Wednesday, April 24, 2024
Recently Posted in News Releases