In a school board election held on Tuesday in Los Angeles, a reform candidate defeated the board president and reformers reached a majority on the school board.
At stake in the fiercely contested campaign is control over a complex, underperforming school district whose ability to improve schools for nearly 665,000 students is compromised by declining enrollment, a $1.46 billion projected deficit, and billions of dollars in unfunded liabilities for retirees.
The election, as in past years, has transcended the candidates in pitting the teachers union and its vision of improvement — more spending, smaller class sizes, expanded wraparound services, and community schools — against reformers who have been fighting to end seniority-based protections and pay, close struggling schools, and give families more school choices.
Tuesday’s results were a blow for the teacher union-backed candidates and will likely end the pro-union stance of the board that has existed for several years and signal a new the direction for the nation’s second-largest school district.
Last year, Richard Whitmire took a close look at education politics in LAUSD in “Ed Reform Battle in Los Angeles.”
— Education Next