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Los Angeles Unified School District elections (2013)

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2013 Los Angeles Unified School District Elections

General Election date:
May 21, 2013
Table of Contents
About the districtWhat's at stake?Newspaper endorsementsKey deadlinesContact informationExternal linksReferences
Candidates
District 2District 4District 6

See also
CaliforniaLocal ballot measures, CaliforniaLos Angeles County, California ballot measuresCity of Los Angeles, California elections
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Three seats on the board of the Los Angeles Unified School District are up for election in 2013.

A primary election was held on March 5, 2013. As of March 6 at 9 am CT 100% of precincts have reported. Election results are unofficial, however the races for Districts 2 and 4 have been called for incumbents Mónica García and Steve Zimmer.[1][2] At this time neither of the two top leading candidates for District 6, Antonio Sanchez and Monica Ratliff, appear to have enough votes necessary to avoid a runoff.[3][4]

For seats where no candidate on the March 5, 2013 ballot received a majority vote, a runoff election will take place on May 21, 2013 between the two candidates who received the most votes on March 5, 2013.[5][3][4]

In 2013, the three seats on the Los Angeles Unified School District board that are up for election are in Districts 2, 4, and 6. There are seven total seats on the board. Those who are elected to seats on the board in 2013 will serve for four-year terms.[3]

Los Angeles Unified School District board members earn $45,600 a year or $26,000 if they also hold another job.[6][7]

In Districts 2 and 4, incumbents Mónica García and Steve Zimmer, respectively, ran for re-election. The District 6 seat is open because incumbent Nury Martinez did not run for re-election, campaigning instead for the District 6 seat on the Los Angeles City Council.

The elections have attracted fierce competition. A group called the "Coalition for School Reform" is advocating for a slate of candidates that includes incumbent Monica Garcia in District 2, and challengers Kate Anderson (District 4) and Antonio Sanchez (District 6). As of March 1, this coalition has raised $3.5 million, including $1 million from billionaire Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York City.[8] Independent expenditures, including those from the Service Employees International Union and United Teachers Los Angeles, reached $4.85 million as of March 4, surpassing the $4.5 million record set in 2009.[9][10]

On the same March 5 ballot as the school board primary, there was also a City of Los Angeles mayoral primary, as well as a vote on the Proposition A sales tax increase and on Proposition B, relating to a change in pensions.

About the district

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is the second largest school district in the nation.[11] LAUSD enrolls more than 640,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade, at over 900 schools, and 187 public charter schools.[11] The boundaries spread over 720 square miles and include the City of Los Angeles, as well as all or parts of 31 smaller municipalities and several unincorporated sections of southern California.[11]

The annual operating budget of the LAUSD is $7.3 billion.[12]

Board District Map.png

District 2.png

District 4.png

District 6.png


District 2

Mónica García has represented District 2 since 2006, and was backed by the Coalition for School Reform for re-election in 2013.

For an official PDF map of District 2, click here.

The candidates on the ballot in District 2 were:

Because García received a majority, the March 5 primary determined the final winner in the District 4 election.

Los Angeles Unified School District 2, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngMónica García Incumbent 55.8% 19,300
     Nonpartisan Isabel Vazquez 10.1% 3,480
     Nonpartisan Annamarie Montañez 11.8% 4,093
     Nonpartisan Abelardo Diaz 7.1% 2,448
     Nonpartisan Robert D. Skeels 15.2% 5,244
Total Votes 34,565
Source: Office of the City Clerk of Los Angeles These results are final.

District 2 campaign finances

By February 27, 2013, a total of $477,297 had been contributed to all candidate campaign committees. An additional $1.3 million was spent via various independent expenditure committees related to District 2 candidacies.

Candidate Direct contributions Expenses Cash on hand Independent expenditures
Mónica García $429,745 $371,491 $68,430 $1,307,648
Robert D. Skeels $19,010 $17,264 $1,745 $5,688
Isabel Vazquez $15,228 $15,166 $62 0
Annamarie Montañez $9,273 $13,199 $2,860 $6,690
Abelardo Diaz $3,916 $3,545 $991 $5,688
See additional District 2 campaign finance details here

District 4

Steve Zimmer has represented District 4 since 2010, and was backed for 2013 re-election by United Teachers Los Angeles.

For an official PDF map of District 4, click here.

The candidates on the ballot in District 4 were:

Note: Jeneen Robinson, who failed to qualify for the ballot but was waging a write-in campaign, dropped out of the race and endorsed Zimmer on February 27, 2013.[17]

Because Zimme received a majority, the March 5 primary determined the final winner in the District 4 election.

Los Angeles Unified School District 4, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Kate Anderson 48.3% 38,063
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngSteve Zimmer Incumbent 51.7% 40,716
Total Votes 78,779
Source: Office of the City Clerk of Los Angeles These results are final.

District 4 campaign finances

Through February 27, 2013, a total of $359,616 had been contributed to all direct candidate campaign committees. An additional $2.03 million had been spent via various independent expenditure committees related to District 4 candidacies.

Candidate Direct contributions Expenses Cash on hand Independent expenditures
Kate Anderson $250,925 $197,857 $65,247 $1,191,976
Steve Zimmer $82,407 $69,706 $32,771 $838,673
See additional District 4 campaign finance details here

District 6

Nury Martinez represented District 6 for one term beginning in 2010, and chose not to run for re-election in 2013.

For an official PDF map of District 6, click here.

The District 6 incumbent, Nury Martinez, decided not to seek re-election in 2013. The candidates on the March 5 ballot in District 6 were:

Note: Iris Zuñiga dropped out on January 23, 2013, although her name still appeared on the election ballot.[18]

As of March 6 at 9 am CT election results are unofficial. It does, however, appear that District 6 is heading to a run-off. At this time the two top leading candidates are Antonio Sanchez and Monica Ratliff.

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.

District 6 campaign finances

Through February 27, 2013, a total of $109,526.55 had been contributed to all direct candidate campaign committees. An additional $1.13 million had been spent via independent expenditure; all independent expenditures were spent on behalf of just one District 6 candidate, Antonio Sanchez.

Candidate Direct contributions Expenses Cash on hand Independent expenditures
Antonio Sanchez $54,689 $48,517 $16,613 $1,138,694
Maria Cano $16,610 $16,285 $825 0
Monica Ratliff $14,798 $11,766 $4,708 0
See additional District 6 campaign finance details here

What's at stake?

Mark your calendar:
Deadline Event
November 10, 2012 Deadline to file Declaration of Intention
December 5, 2012 Last day to file nominating petitions
December 10, 2012 Last day to withdraw candidacy
December 12, 2012 Random alphabet drawing for order of names on ballot
March 5, 2013 Primary Election
May 21, 2013 Runoff/General Election
June 30, 2013 Successful candidates will be sworn in

In a guest post for LA School Report on February 13, 2013, Jason Mandell, Director of Public Affairs at United Way of Greater Los Angeles, listed three reasons why everyone, including those without school-age children, should care about the outcome of the LAUSD elections:

  • "The school board has way more power than you think." In LA, the school board, not the mayor, has final authority over all district matters, including the superintendent's contract.
  • "A city is only as strong as its schools." LAUSD is an important part of developing the Greater LA area's workforce and economy.
  • "Education is a civil rights issue and the school board makes the rules." The LAUSD board "ha[s] an incredible opportunity to bridge the civil rights gap in our schools and make sure Latino and African-American students get the education they deserve."[19]

The campaign for the 3 seats up for election has been heavily influenced by two rival groups:

  • Coalition for School Reform (CSR)
  • United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), the union for public school teachers in LAUSD

However, in District 6, the two warring groups both endorsed Antonio Sanchez. This means that their battle was in Districts 2 and 4. In District 2, CSR hoped to defend incumbent Monica Garcia against multiple UTLA-endorsed challengers. In District 4, UTLA hoped to defend incumbent Steve Zimmer against CSR-endorsed Kate Anderson. The District 4 race appeared to be the closest and likely to be the decisive race for determining whether CSR would have a reliable majority on the school board or not.[20] Campaign consultants and other "insiders" interviewed by LA School Report for Hillel Aron's March 1 article tentatively projected "a decent chance of runoffs in Districts 2 and 6 and a District 4 race that’s too close to call."[21]

The Coalition for School Reform, UTLA, and political action committees associated with other unions, such as Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 99 and the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor (AFL-CIO), all directly spent money advocating for or against LAUSD school board candidates in 2013. As of March 2, outside spending had surpassed $4.4 million, including more than $2 million in the District 2 race alone.[22] Although this was the most spent on independent expenditures by March in LAUSD school board elections, board candidates themselves had already spent $7 million by March of 2007, a campaign season with no reported independent expenditures.[23]

Coalition for School Reform

The "Coalition for School Reform" (CSR) supported:

Janelle Erickson is the campaign manager for the CSR's campaign efforts. She characterizes the goal of CSR as supporting candidates who:

  • Want to change how LAUSD conducts teacher evaluations
  • Want to increase the number of public charter schools
  • Support Superintendent John Deasy. With respect to Deasy, Erickson says, "What’s at stake (is) our superintendent who’s turning our school district around and what’s at stake is a reform minded, progressive school board."[24]

On February 20, 2013, Michelle Rhee, former chancellor of District of Columbia Public Schools and CEO of Sacramento-based school reform group StudentsFirst, announced her group's support for the CSR and that Parents and Teachers for Putting Students First, the super PAC associated with StudentsFirst, would contribute $250,000 to CSR for the LAUSD elections.[25] Rhee said, "We think it's important that John Deasy be able to continue on the job to finish the work he started."[26]

Although media attention focused largely on the Coalition's fundraising and advertising, the group had also hired the firm 50+1 Strategies for get-out-the-vote (GOTV) efforts. The firm is headed by Addisu Demissie, director of President Obama's 2012 GOTV vote efforts in Ohio. Some attributed the 2011 defeat of CSR-endorsed LAUSD candidate Luiz Sanchez by UTLA-endorsed Bennett Kayser to the UTLA's superior GOTV campaign, leading CSR to invest more heavily in its GOTV "ground game" in 2013.[27]

The CSR grew out of an organization founded in 1999 by then-mayor Richard Riordan. The name of the group at that time was the "Coalition for Kids". Riordan, who said "I’m going to get myself 100% involved in education to make sure every poor child in this city has a quality education," attracted the support of billionaires Eli Broad and Jerrold Perenchio.[24]

The "Coalition for Kids" in 1999 succeeded in gaining a majority of the 7 seats on the LAUSD board. This coalition is viewed as standing in opposition to "United Teachers Los Angeles" (UTLA), which is the union that represents the public school teachers in the district. In LAUSD's 2003 school board election, UTLA took out a $1 million loan to fight the Coalition's picks.[24]

In 2009, the name of the coalition was changed from the "Coalition for Kids" to the "Coalition for School Reform". Another significant event in 2009 is that new campaign finance legislation removed all limits on how much independent expenditure committees for school board races are allowed to raise and spend.[24]

Major donors

The majority of money raised by CSR for these elections came from these donors:[28]

  • Michael Bloomberg, New York Mayor: $1 million[29]
  • California Charter Schools Association: $300,000
  • Eli Broad, education and arts philanthropist: $250,000
  • A. Jerrold Perenchio, former head of Univision: $250,000
  • Parents and Teachers for Putting Students First: $250,000[25]
  • News America, Inc.: $250,000
  • Lynda Resnick, entrepreneur, POM Wonderful: $100,000
  • Marc Nathanson, investor, and wife Jane: $100,000 combined
  • Jamie Alter Lynton, journalist and wife of Michael Lynton, chairman/CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment: $100,000
  • Joel Klein, former New York City schools Chancellor: $25,000
  • Steven Prough, chair of the board of L.A.'s Promise: $10,000

United Teachers Los Angeles

United Teachers Los Angeles was founded in 1970 and currently represents 35,000 members in Los Angeles, including public school teachers, nurses, psychologists, social workers, librarians and classroom teachers. It is affiliated with both major national teachers' unions, the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), as well as their state organizations, the California Teachers Association (CTA) and the California Federation of Teachers (CFT).[30] Although the vast majority of its teacher members work in the LAUSD's public schools, the faculties of several independently managed charter schools have voluntarily unionized and joined UTLA.[31]

UTLA has endorsed:

UTLA manages its election spending through its Political Action Council of Educators (PACE). PACE aims to "protect teachers' rights and promote student achievement."[32] In addition to the list of endorsed candidates, the PACE website also has a page dedicated to its "Stop Garcia" campaign to defeat LAUSD Board President Mónica García.[33] In this election, UTLA has also utilized a separate independent expenditure group called Advocates for Excellence in Los Angeles Schools. PACE and Advocates have transferred hundreds of thousands of dollars between each other during the campaign.[34] Additionally, UTLA has a state-level political action committee called UTLA COPE.[35] As of March 4, UTLA had spent about $994,000 on the District 2 and 4 races.[36]

The parent organizations of UTLA have not offered significant financial support to their local affiliate. On February 13, 2013, NEA President Dennis Van Roekel stated that his national organization had no plans to get involved, explaining, "We usually don't get involved in school board races."[37] AFT President Randi Weingarten appeared with District 2 incumbent Zimmer on February 8 while presenting the UTLA a grant to help teachers prepare school improvement plans.[38] On February 21, LA School Report writer Alexander Russo tweeted that he had information that both California state teacher unions and the AFT were prepared to put money into the LAUSD elections.[39] AFT contributed $75,000 to PACE UTLA on February 25, and LA Times reporter Howard Blume reported on March 5 that the AFT total contribution to the UTLA campaign was $150,000.[40][41]

Newspaper endorsements

The Los Angeles Times and the Los Angeles Daily News endorsed the same three candidates:

  • In District 2: Mónica García. The Los Angeles Daily News said "She has been a consistent, if sometimes lukewarm, supporter of reform."[14]
  • In District 4: Kate Anderson. The Los Angeles Daily News said Anderson is "squarely in the camp of education reform – but sane reform that doesn’t hand over our public schools to private interests."[14]
  • In District 6: Monica Ratliff. The Los Angeles Daily News said, "her platform is pure students-first." The Los Angeles Times wrote, "Personable, articulate and sharp, she strikes us as a candidate who would think her positions through carefully and debate with an open mind."[14],[15]

Key Deadlines & Contact Information

Deadline Event
November 10, 2012 Deadline to file Declaration of Intention
December 5, 2012 Last day to file nominating petitions
December 10, 2012 Last day to withdraw candidacy
December 12, 2012 Random alphabet drawing for order of names on ballot
March 5, 2013 Primary Election
May 21, 2013 Runoff/General Election
June 30, 2013 Successful candidates will be sworn in

LAUSD logo.PNG

Contact information:

Los Angeles Unified School District
Board of Education
333 South Beaudry Avenue, 24th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Tel: 213-241-6389
Fax: 213-241-8953 or 213-481-9023

See also

Articles

External links

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References

  1. Facebook - Monica Garcia, "Wall posting," March 6, 2013
  2. The Los Angeles Times, "LA Primary results," March 6, 2013
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Los Angeles City Clerk "Los Angeles Votes City Committee eNewsletter January 2013" Accessed February 8, 2013
  4. 4.0 4.1 City of Los Angeles "Candidate Guide 2013" Accessed February 8, 2013
  5. League of Women Voters " Board Member; Los Angeles Unified School District; District 6 Voter Information" Accessed February 8, 2013
  6. DailyNews,"15 candidates file to run for LAUSD school board seats," December 5, 2012
  7. DailyNews,"LAUSD board candidates plan for the job," March 4, 2011
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Vanessa Romo, KPCC, "LA Unified school board races attract millions; will they draw voters?", March 1, 2013
  9. Los Angeles City Ethics Commission, 2013 Municipal and LAUSD Election Disclosures
  10. Southern California Public Radio, "LA Unified school board race could break fundraising records this election," February 14, 2013. Retrieved February 14, 2013.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Los Angeles Unified School District "District Information" Accessed February 8, 2013
  12. LA School Report, "Three Reasons You Should Care Who Wins the School Board Races", February 13, 2013
  13. About Monica Garcia
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 Los Angeles Daily News, "Editorial endorsements: Three for LAUSD board - and for education reform", February 23, 2013
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 Los Angeles Times, "For LA School Board"
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 16.5 16.6 16.7 UTLA endorsements page
  17. Los Angeles Daily News, "LAUSD write-in candidate Jeneen Robinson ends campaign, endorses Steve Zimmer in District 4," February 27, 2013
  18. Barbara Jones, Daily News Los Angeles, LAUSD board candidate Iris Zuniga drops out of race for Nury Martinez seat, January 23, 2013
  19. Jason Mandell, LA School Report, "Three Reasons You Should Care Who Wins the School Board Races," February 13, 2013
  20. Vanessa Romo, KPCC, "Could a single school board race determine LAUSD's future?" February 22, 2013
  21. Hillel Aron, LA School Report, "Insider Predictions: Two Runoffs & A 'Jump Ball,'" March 1, 2013
  22. Los Angeles Ethics Commission disclosure information, LAUSD District 2, 4, & 6, accessed on March 2, 2013
  23. LA School Report, "Money: Epic ’07 Showdown Still Holds the Record," March 1, 2013
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 SCPR, "LA Unified school board race could break fundraising records this election", February 14, 2013
  25. 25.0 25.1 StudentsFirst press release, "Michelle Rhee Announces Support, Contribution to Coalition for School Reform," February 20, 2013
  26. Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times, "Michelle Rhee group donates $250,000 to candidates in LAUSD races," February 20, 2013
  27. [http://laschoolreport.com/ex-obama-organizer-could-be-reform-coalitions-secret-weapon/ Hillel Aaron, LA School Report, "Post navigation Reformers Try to Match Union 'Ground Game,'" February 22, 2013]
  28. Los Angeles Times, "Outside groups trying to influence L.A. school board races," February 10, 2013
  29. LA Times, "School board candidates debate Bloomberg's $1-million donation," February 14, 2013
  30. UTLA, "About Us," accessed February 21, 2013
  31. Howard Blume, LA Times LA Now blog, "Union wins right to represent Valley charter school," February 13, 2013
  32. PACE home page, accessed February 21, 2013
  33. UTLA PACE, "Join Pace today to stop Monica Garcia!" accessed March 2, 2013
  34. Samantha Oltman, LA School Report, "Union Spending: Multiple Accounts, Mismatched Records," February 26, 2013
  35. Alexander Russo, "UTLA Denounces, Solicits Outside Contributions," February 13, 2013
  36. Samantha Oltman, LA School Report, "Outside Spending Up $400K Since Friday – Nears $5 Million," March 4, 2013
  37. Joy Resmovits, Huffington Post, "UTLA Can't Count On Money From NEA, Nation's Largest Teachers Union," February 13, 2013
  38. Samantha Oltman, LA School Report, "National Union Announces Friday Press Event & Grant," February 7, 2013
  39. Tweet from @alexanderrusso, 10:32 a.m., February 21, 2013
  40. PACE financial contribution disclosure report to the LA City Ethics Commission, February 26, 2013
  41. LA Times webchat between Cindy Chang and Howard Blume, March 5, 2013