LAUSD races create power struggle on school board

Nov 5, 2020 by

The balance of power on the Los Angeles Unified school board will flip to a majority board that’s sympathetic to education reformers if the latest elections results — which are still only preliminary — hold once final vote tallies are in.

In District 3, incumbent Scott Schmerelson has an eight percentage point lead over challenger Marilyn Koziatek while in District 7, political newcomer Tanya Ortiz Franklin has a 16-point lead over her rival, Patricia Castellanos, according to preliminary results from the county’s Registrar of Voters Office.

Schmerelson has already declared victory, though his opponent has yet to concede. In District 7, on the other hand, Franklin said she feels “positive” about her chances of winning but is awaiting final results while her opponent has effectively conceded the race.

Meanwhile, district officials are thanking voters for supporting Measure RR, a $7 billion bond measure to pay for school construction and modernization projects. As of late Wednesday afternoon, 71% of voters whose ballots have been counted supported the measure while 29% opposed it. The measure needs 55% voter approval to pass.

Without strong opposition to Measure RR, the focus of this year’s election in LAUSD centered on the board races.

The current seven-member board consists of four members who are viewed as allies of the teachers union. This includes outgoing school board President Richard Vladovic, who is generally regarded as a bit of a wild card but tends to side with the union more often than not.

If Schmerelson, who was endorsed by United Teachers Los Angeles, retains his seat, and Franklin, a former LAUSD teacher who has the support of education reformers, is officially declared the winner in District 7, the balance of power will shift 4-3 in favor of school choice advocates. That’s because Franklin would take over the seat held by Vladovic, who could not run for reelection due to term limits.

Source: LAUSD races create power struggle on school board – Daily News

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