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Amidst LAUSD teachers’ strike, we talk with California education superintendent Tony Thurmond

California education superintendent Tony Thurmond.
California education superintendent Tony Thurmond. / Flickr

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Tony Thurmond earlier this month was sworn in as the state’s education superintendent.

But he’s been keeping an eye on what’s happening here in the L.A. Unified School District, as we come to the fifth day of the first LAUSD strike in 30 years. Mayor Eric Garcetti and Thurmond help arrange a meeting to resume negotiations Thursday between the LAUSD and United Teachers Los Angeles. Negotiations are set to resume at 11 a.m. on Friday. Details of the meeting have not been released.

In a statement on Twitter from L.A. Unified, the district announced it has lost “about $100 million in funding that should have belonged in the classroom.” While there’s the looming question about how much the state can afford to fund the LAUSD, the second-largest school district in the nation, there are also questions about how much power Thurmond wields, and the amount of assistance he can offer during negotiations.

Today, we dig into Thurmond’s role in how our school district functions, and what he hopes to accomplish as both sides of the strike come back to the bargaining table.  


Tony Thurmond, California State Superintendent of Public Instruction; he tweets @TonyThurmond