With numbers still coming in and some important races still too close to call, what’s clear is educators played a pivotal role in this election.
From volunteering for pro-public education candidates to running for office in record numbers, California educators proved once again that when it comes to their students, they are willing to do what it takes to make sure they get the public education they deserve.
California’s millions of public school students were big winners last night as voters joined educators and parents in electing Gavin Newsom for governor. “As educators who care deeply for our students, we stood in unity with Gavin. His election sends a clear message that in California we care about free public education for all students regardless of the color of their skin, their religion, their gender or their station in life,” said Eric C. Heins, president of the 325,000-member California Teachers Association.
“We look forward to working with Governor Newsom on his bold vision of supporting children from cradle to career, investing in schools and colleges, creating sustainable jobs, and providing affordable health care and housing to all Californians in every community. Working together, we can be California’s dream.”
Meanwhile, Tony Thurmond’s historic race for state superintendent of public instruction (SPI) remains too close to call today. Officials estimate there could be up to four million ballots that remain to be counted.
“This was the most expensive race for statewide schools’ chief in the history of U.S. politics as a handful of billionaires, many who don’t live in California, spent nearly $40 million trying to push their privatization and corporate charter school agenda on us and buy the office of SPI,” said Heins. “Despite being outspent 2-to-1, with the help of educators and parents, Thurmond stood up for all students and the promise of free public education and made this a very close race. We continue to stand with Tony until all ballots are counted.”
As part of the national Red For Ed movement, California educators ran for state and local races in record numbers this year, many of them winning their respective races. “With real educators stepping into office, you can be sure what’s best for students will take center stage,” said Heins.
Educators won school board elections in Westminster, West Sacramento, San Jose, Saddleback Valley, Middletown, Fremont, and Fallbrook, just to name a few. California educators were also re-elected to the State Assembly and Congress.
“Looking at the outcome of statewide initiatives, educators are pleased voters saw through the realtors’ scam of Proposition 5, which would have cut more than a billion dollars a year from public education and another billion from essential community services like fire protection. We are disappointed with the defeat of Proposition 10. CTA will continue to work in a broad coalition to support affordable housing for all,” said Heins.
CTA also congratulates the other educator-recommended candidates who won their races: Xavier Becerra will remain California’s Attorney General, Alex Padilla continues as Secretary of State, Betty Yee remains Controller, Fiona Ma won State Treasurer, Malia Cohen was elected for Board of Equalization District 2, and Ricardo Lara is poised to win as Insurance Commissioner.