Runoff in District 6 in School Board Election
At the Schools with Audrey Linden
The recent election was a success for those who supported Steve Zimmer for his District 2 seat on the LAUSD School Board. The big money that backed Kate Anderson could not buy enough votes. The people spoke and the message was clear. The people favored public education and teachers over charters and doing away with seniority and teacher evaluations. But, another incumbent, Monica Garcia held onto her seat on the School Board. Garcia had the Broad money, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation backing, Mayor Villariagosa’s backing to say nothing about the million New York’s Mayor Bloomberg contributed. That donation left me to wonder. What does New York’s Mayor have to with L A U S D? What was his interest? What would he stand to gain?
Some fault UTLA for endorsing all 3 of the 4 candidates who were running against Monica Garcia. The votes were split. Wouldn’t it have been politically astute to have supported and endorsed one strong candidate instead of splitting the ticket three ways?
In District 6, there is a runoff between Monica Ratliff and Antonio Sanchez. U T L A had endorsed both candidates. Now that there is a runoff, the teachers at the last House of Representative's meeting had suggested endorsing Ratliff. Last Wednesday proved to be a contentious. Teachers lined up at the Pro Mic and the Con Mic equally to pull the endorsement from Sanchez. Nothing was decided, and a special meeting was scheduled for this Wednesday to decide the issue of whom to endorse.
The big money supported not just the “Reform” candidates but in reality, Superintendent John Deasy. Superintendent Deasy was concerned that if the Union backed candidates got in , he might be voted out of his position as Superintendent of the second largest school district. The real support was for Superintendent John Deasy. That might explain Mayor Bloomberg's million dollar donation.
Ratliff is a former teacher as recently as 2010 and has taught third, fourth, and fifth grade at an inner city school. She is the only teacher running and her heart is with the children and teachers. Her expertise as an attorney who fought for social issues will serve her and our schools.
If Ratliff is voted in, the balance of power may shift enough to counter some of Deasy’s input. Marguerite La Motte, Bennett Keyser, Steve Zimmer, who though independent, may vote for teachers and against charters, and Ratliff, is she is voted on the School Board may give four out of seven votes necessary to bring the balance back to pro-teacher, reduced class size, seniority, etc. Richard Vladovic’s votes can go either way.
It will be interesting to see if U T L A will strongly back one candidate, Ratliff and pull the endorsement from Sanchez. That is being decided as I write.
March 14, 2013
The update on this article is that there was no quorum at the special meeting last night, so the issue as to whom to endorse for the School Board runoff in District 6 was not voted on. They needed 150 teachers in order to have a quorum and did not. There is a consensus that those who did not come were those who were in favor of keeping the endorsement for Antonio Sanchez. The endorsement issue will be voted on at the next regularly scheduled HOR meeting in April for the May election. That is cutting it very close. And, it promises to be another contentious HOR meeting. It would seem UTLA has a Union divided.