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Maria Cano

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Maria Cano
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Candidate for
Board Member, Los Angeles Unified School District, District 6
Maria Cano was a 2013 candidate seeking election to the Los Angeles Unified School District Board representing District 6. Incumbent Nury Martinez is not seeking re-election.

Cano is a former LAUSD organizer.[1]



See also: Los Angeles Unified School District elections (2013)

Cano ran in the 2013 election for the Los Angeles Unified School District Board, representing District 6. Cano lost against Antonio Sanchez and Monica Ratliff in the primary election on March 5, 2013. (Iris Zuñiga has withdrawn but will remain on the ballot.[2])

Los Angeles Unified School District 6, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngAntonio Sanchez 43.6% 17,093
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngMonica Ratliff 33.8% 13,244
     Nonpartisan Maria Cano 13.5% 5,276
     Nonpartisan Iris Zuniga 9.1% 3,579
Total Votes 39,192
Source: Office of the City Clerk of Los Angeles These results are final.



Candidate Campaign contributions Personal funds Indpt. expenditures in support Indpt. expenditures opposed
Maria Cano $16,610.33 $500 $0 $0
Monica Ratliff $14,797.69 $1,996.23 $0 $0
Antonio Sanchez $54,688.53 $0 $1,098,188.51 $0
Iris Zuniga $19,625 $1,000 $0 $0
Campaign contributions and personal funds as reported through February 27, 2013 in the required filings with the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission. Independent expenditures are continually updated by the Commission. They were last updated here March 5, 2013. Source: Los Angeles City Ethics Commission[5]

Campaign literature

During the 2013 campaign, Cano registered 11 pieces of campaign literature with the City of Los Angeles City Ethics Commission. The campaign literature included 8 flyers, 2 mailers, and a contribution form.[6]

No independent expenditure groups registered any literature supporting or opposing Cano. However, the Coalition for School Reform registered a mailer in support of Antonio Sanchez on February 20, which gave both Cano and Monica Ratliff F grades.[7]



The following questions were prepared by the League of Women Voters of Los Angeles:[8]

1. What is the single most important issue facing LAUSD today? As a Board Member, what would you do to deal with it?[8]

"The single most important issue facing LAUSD is budget cuts. The result, a critically underfunded education program with impacts to graduation, shortage of classroom space, shortage of teachers, a shortage of jobs, and a growing level of poverty stricken families. As a Board Member I am committed and will work hard toward building the necessary consensus needed to focus attention back on the budget and on ways to increase funding. I don't believe that cutting jobs or taking away classroom funding is an option. We can't take out the engine of the car and them turn around and enter a race. The answer towards a balance budget should have never been to cut programs like early, adult and arts programs. That is why, as a Board Member I will work to accomplish three emergency measures, 1) to reinstate school-sites staff, 2) reinstate educational programs, and 3) and to reinstate budget control to local school sites."

2. How would you prioritize your local constituency in overseeing LAUSD management, setting District policy, and day-to-day decision-making?[8]

"We are all stewards of public funds. The right and responsibility of oversight is in the hands of all constituents. However, the best place to start prioritizing local contingency in overseeing LAUSD management, setting District policy and day-to-day decision making, is through working with the Parent Centers. Parents are our co-workers too, and they need to feel valued, they need to be trained on District decision making, and more importantly they need to feel empowered with the right of oversight."

3. What experience in general management, fiscal management, and budgetary oversight would you bring to the job of Board Member?[8]

"I have 8 ½ years of working with LAUSD Facilities as part of its 21 billion dollar building program. As a Regional Manager I oversaw the Community Outreach strategies of over 50 projects, at any one time, in the Valley Region and Special Projects areas. As part of my duties, I was responsible for the fiscal and budgetary oversight of each and every one of these project in our Department."

4. How should LAUSD deal with its rapidly increasing costs for retiree and employee health care?[8]

"The rapidly increasing retiree and employee health care costs have very little to do with education, and more to do with our economy. Cities and counties, like school districts, have been forced against budgetary walls and unfortunately decisions have been made that limit our workers' and patient rights. The District's size alone gives it a very strategic upper hand, and I would use this advantage to call my elected officials to the table and start discussions on responsible and fair legislation that aims to protect us from unfair practices and costs."

5. What part should standardized testing play in LAUSD's educational programs?[8]

"Standardized testing can and should be used to evaluate the value added and progress of educational programs and individual student progress plans."

Arts for LA survey

Cano did not fill out the candidate survey from Arts for LA, a group advocating greater investment in the arts.[9]

Candidate forums

Families First

On February 27, 2013, Cano participated with Antonio Sanchez and Monica Ratliff in a candidate forum at Vaughn Next Century Learning Center sponsored by Families First. According to the LA School Report, "There wasn’t any particular issue where the candidates disagreed in any obvious or sharp manner."[10] A video of the entire event may be found on YouTube.[11]

Boys and Girls Club

On January 31, 2013, Cano participated with Antonio Sanchez and Monica Ratliff in a candidate forum at the Boys and Girls Club in Pacoima.[12] A video of the entire event may be found on YouTube.[13] A text summary of the forum may also be found on the LA School Report website.[14]

Opinion of Superintendent Deasy

At the forum, the candidates were asked, "Do you support current LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy?" Cano stated that she "would think twice about evaluating him as a successful employee."[1] Saying that Deasy "is focused on other priorities," she named Deasy's technological and teacher evaluation programs as points of contention. In an interview, she stated that she may vote to replace him given "the right candidate."[15]

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  1. 1.0 1.1 LA School Report, "Commentary: Do You or Don’t You Support Deasy?" February 7, 2013. Retrieved February 14, 2013
  2. Barbara Jones, Daily News Los Angeles, LAUSD board candidate Iris Zuniga drops out of race for Nury Martinez seat, January 23, 2013
  3. Daily News, "Administrators union issues endorsements in LAUSD election primary," January 18, 2013
  4. United Teachers Los Angeles, "Political Endorsements – School Board Primary Election on March 5," accessed February 13, 2013
  5. Los Angeles City Ethics Commission, 2013 Municipal and LAUSD Election Disclosures
  6. LAUSD District 6 campaign literature, LA City Ethics Commission
  7. LA City Ethics Commission, Coalition for School Reform mailer in support of Antonio Sanchez, February 20, 2013
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 Candidates' answers to questions from the League of Women Voters
  9. Arts for LA Spring 2013 Candidate Surveys: LA Unified School Distrct
  10. Karen Jordan, LA School Report, "District 6 Candidates Struggle to Differentiate Themselves," accessed February 27, 2013
  11. [ Samantha Oltman, LA School Report, "Watch: D6 Candidates Talk Charters,Evaluations, Trigger," February 28, 2013]
  12. Los Angeles Daily News, "LAUSD board candidates to appear at forums," January 19, 2013
  13. California Participation Project, "Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Candidate Forums," accessed February 14, 2013
  14. LA School Report, "East Valley Forum: Differences Over Deasy, Evaluation, & Dismissal," February 1, 2013
  15. LA School Report, "East Valley Forum: Differences Over Deasy, Evaluation, & Dismissal," February 1, 2013. Retrieved February 15, 2013