Monica Ratliff

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Monica Ratliff
Monica Ratliff (LAUSD).jpg
Board Member, Los Angeles Unified School District, District 6
Incumbent
In office
2013 - present
Term ends
June 30, 2017
Elections and appointments
Last electionMay 21, 2013
First electedMay 21, 2013
Term limitsN/A
Education
Bachelor'sColumbia University
Master'sUCLA
J.D.Columbia University
Personal
ProfessionLawyer/teacher
Websites
Campaign website
Monica Ratliff is a school board member in the Los Angeles Unified School District. She ran for and won election to her District 6 seat on the board in the May 21, 2013 elections. Incumbent Nury Martinez did not seek re-election.

Ratliff is a lawyer and an elementary school teacher.[1]

Elections

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

May 21, 2013 general

Ratliff won the May 21, 2013 run-off election for the Los Angeles Unified School District Board, representing District 6. Ratliff placed second in the March 5 primary election, behind Antonio Sanchez. Maria Cano and Iris Zuñiga (who had already withdrawn from the race[2]) ranked third and fourth respectively.

Heading into the election both Sanchez and Ratliff were supported by the United Teachers Los Angeles union. In the March primary, 44% of voters voted for Sanchez, while 34% selected Ratliff.

Election results

Los Angeles Unified School District 6, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Antonio Sanchez 48.2% 22,896
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngMonica Ratliff 51.8% 24,567
Total Votes 47,463
Source: Office of the City Clerk of Los Angeles. These are the final results.

Funding

Through May 15, 2013, a total of $244,298.17 had been contributed to all direct candidate campaign committees. An additional $2 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 $151,947.57 $110,827.87 $50,110.70 $2,012,075.32
Monica Ratliff $52,310.27 $55,292.11 $8,758.91 0
See additional District 6 campaign finance details here

March 5, 2013 primary

Election results

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.

Endorsements

Funding

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[8]

Campaign literature

During the 2013 primary election campaign, Ratliff registered eight pieces of campaign literature with the City of Los Angeles City Ethics Commission. The campaign literature included three flyers, two mailers, an email, a business card, and a questionaire.[9]

No independent expenditure groups formally registered any literature supporting or opposing Ratliff during the primary election campaign. However, the Coalition for School Reform registered a mailer in support of Antonio Sanchez on February 20, which gave both Ratliff and candidate Maria Cano F grades.[10] Ratliff publicly took issue with the mailer, alleging that it misrepresented her stand on firing teachers. The mailer asserted that Ratliff "opposes allowing local school officials to immediately remove—-and, if convicted, fire—-teachers or school staff accused of sexually abusing students," which the CSR explained was based on her opposition to Senate Bill 10. SB 10 would "would expedite the process for firing teachers accused of sexual misconduct," according to the Los Angeles Daily News. Ratliff emphasized that children's health and safety were her top priorities, arguing that the existing laws are already adequate.[11]

Issues

Campaign themes

2013

On her website, Ratliff outlines the following themes:[12]

College or Vocational readiness will help our children graduate from high school confident that they can enter college or a vocation. We must prepare them to make their way in the world. Education is the way that society lifts its people up.”

Health and Safety is vital inside the classroom, outside the classroom and in the surrounding neighborhood near the schools. Learning happens best in a safe, healthy environment.”

Fiscal Responsibility will lead to trust. The public has a right to know where their money is going and why those expenditures will be effective before the money is being spent.”

Collaboration leads to problem solving. Parents, teachers, administrators, school staff, charter school operators and the community all want the best for our children. Knowing the budget and the needs of the students, people will collaborate to share and develop solutions to the problems that plague LAUSD.”

All our schools must work and we must finally fix the schools that don't. There are many models of schools that work: public schools, charter schools, or pilot schools. We must take what works and apply it to all the schools. All students deserve equal access to schools that work.”

League of Women Voters Q&A

The following questions were prepared by the League of Women Voters of Los Angeles:[13]

1. What is the single most important issue facing LAUSD today? As a Board Member, what would you do to deal with it?[13]

"Parents take their children to school expecting their children to return to them in the same condition and better at day's end. As a Board Member, my number one priority will be the student's health, safety, and ability to succeed in life."

2. How would you prioritize your local constituency in overseeing LAUSD management, setting District policy, and day-to-day decision-making?[13]

Ratliff did not submit an answer to this question.

3. What experience in general management, fiscal management, and budgetary oversight would you bring to the job of Board Member?[13]

Ratliff did not submit an answer to this question.

4. How should LAUSD deal with its rapidly increasing costs for retiree and employee health care?[13]

Ratliff did not submit an answer to this question.

5. What part should standardized testing play in LAUSD's educational programs?[13]

Ratliff did not submit an answer to this question.

United Way Q&A

The following questions were prepared by the United Way Los Angeles; the full 15-question survey can be seen here:[14]

2. Please indicate your three (3) priorities once in office and explain why:[14]

"1. The health and safety of our students must be the top priority of LAUSD. Parents trust the schools to return their children to them at the end of the day in the same condition - or hopefully better thanks to education. 2. Our students must graduate from high school and be prepared to succeed in college or a vocation. This mentality must be instilled in elementary school. Education lifts a society up. The longer a child stays in school the greater chance they have of making a difference and not just in their own lives but in the lives they touch. 3. LAUSD must be fiscally responsible. The public has a right to know where the money is going and what is the expected outcome of the expenditure. Often, LAUSD makes decisions that are not good for the classroom, not good for the school, and, most importantly, not good for the student. Schools need more local control over funding."

4. How would you as a school board member increase parent and community engagement in schools? What have you done thus far to support your vision?[14]

"School/parent communication is essential. As a teacher, I communicate regularly with the parents. Teachers and parents cannot wait until district mandated parent conferences to communicate. Every week, parents see how their children are progressing in my class. If there is a problem, I communicate with the parent immediately. There are numerous programs available that allow parents, students, and teachers to communicate via technology. LAUSD should encourage each school to implement a program that allows for increased parent/school communication."

6. Recently there has been a number of child abuse allegations brought against LAUSD. How would you help protect students from LAUSD employees who may seek to harm students?[14]

"We need to adequately staff the schools to prevent such abuse. For example, budget cuts have led to cuts in assistant principals and mental health professionals at the school site.... We need to rehire assistant principals to share the principal's burden AND free the principal up to walk through the classrooms regularly, but randomly, providing the instructional leadership that a school needs and deserves. The principal should have her finger on the pulse of the school.

In addition, cuts have forced schools to make choices whether to have a school nurse or a school psychologist or counselor. There are schools without the regular attendance of a mental health professional. Currently, students can have a crisis and have no trained mental health professional at hand. A school psychologist or counselor at school sites will provide an additional safety net for our students."

10. What do you think of the teacher evaluation agreement reached between the District and LAUSD labor partners? Explain it and share your thoughts on it.[14]

"...I firmly believe that every teachers should look at their individual classes' CST reports every year to see what they taught well and in what areas of instruction they need to improve. The CST reports break the data into bands based on the standards so teachers can see what standards they taught well and what standards they did not teach as effectively. Unfortunately, the Tentative Agreement did not do enough to focus on that valuable information. Instead, AGT was sprinkled throughout the TA. AGT does not give teachers the detailed information that they need to improve. The CST reports do give teachers and administrators the information needed to help teachers improve...."

Arts for LA survey

Ratliff did not fill out the candidate survey from Arts for LA, a group advocating greater investment in the arts.[15]

Candidate forums

Families First

On February 27, 2013, Ratliff participated with Maria Cano and Antonio Sanchez 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."[16] A video of the entire event may be found on YouTube.[17]

Boys and Girls Club

On January 31, 2013, Ratliff participated with Antonio Sanchez and Maria Cano in a candidate forum at the Boys and Girls Club in Pacoima.[18] A video of the entire event may be found on YouTube.[19] A text summary of the forum may also be found on the LA School Report website.[20]

Opinion of Superintendent Deasy

At the forum, the candidates were asked, "Do you support current LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy?" Ratliff declined to answer, saying she would "need to know more" in order to evaluate Deasy's job performance.[1]

Ratliff later told the Los Angeles Daily News that while she viewed Deasy's accomplishments positively, she would need to hear from him regarding matters of personnel, such as his handling of the 2012 sexual abuse scandal at Miramonte Elementary School.[21]

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External links

References

  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. Los Angeles Daily News, "Editorial endorsements: Three for LAUSD board - and for education reform," February 23, 2013
  5. Los Angeles Times, "For L.A. school board," February 15, 2013
  6. Los Angeles Times,"Endorsements recap: The Times recommends," May 19, 2013
  7. United Teachers Los Angeles, "Political Endorsements – School Board Primary Election on March 5," accessed February 13, 2013
  8. Los Angeles City Ethics Commission, 2013 Municipal and LAUSD Election Disclosures
  9. LAUSD District 6 campaign literature, LA City Ethics Commission
  10. LA City Ethics Commission, Coalition for School Reform mailer in support of Antonio Sanchez, February 20, 2013
  11. Christina Villacorte, "Hit pieces fly back, forth on campaign trail toward March 5 election," February 22, 2013
  12. Monica Ratliff for Board of Education 2013 - District 6, "What I Will Do - Details." Retrieved February 22, 2013.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 Candidates' answers to questions from the League of Women Voters
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 Monica Ratliff's responses to the United Way Los Angeles school board candidate questionnaire
  15. Arts for LA Spring 2013 Candidate Surveys: LA Unified School Distrct
  16. Karen Jordan, LA School Report, "District 6 Candidates Struggle to Differentiate Themselves," February 27, 2013
  17. Samantha Oltman, LA School Report, "Watch: D6 Candidates Talk Charters,Evaluations, Trigger," February 28, 2013
  18. Los Angeles Daily News, "LAUSD board candidates to appear at forums," January 19, 2013
  19. California Participation Project, "Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Candidate Forums," accessed February 14, 2013
  20. LA School Report, "East Valley Forum: Differences Over Deasy, Evaluation, & Dismissal," February 1, 2013
  21. Los Angeles Daily News, "Los Angeles Unified school board election has nation's attention," February 17, 2013. Retrieved February 22, 2013.