New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who contributed $1 million to a slate of reformers in the LAUSD primary election, has now donated $350,000 to support a candidate facing a runoff for a school board seat in May.According to statements filed today on the city Ethics Commission website, Bloomberg made the $350,000 donation on Tuesday to the Coalition for School Reform, which is backing education advocate Antonio Sanchez in his bid for the District 6 seat on the LAUSD board.
In February, the New York City billionaire contributed $1 million to the coalition, an independent expenditure committee that supported Sanchez, District 2 incumbent Monica Garcia and District 4 challenger Kate Anderson. Garcia won outright, Anderson lost to incumbent Steve Zimmer and Sanchez was forced into a runoff with teacher Monica Ratliff for the East San Fernando Valley seat.
Bloomberg's $1 million donation came as the coalition tried to solidify support for Los Angeles Unified Superintedent John Deasy and his efforts to implement data-based performance evaluations and expand charter schools. Those policies are also supported by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who brokered that initial contribution.
The March 5 primary for three school board seats drew about $5.5 million in contributions to independent


solidaridad: Monica Ratliff for LAUSD at Empress Pavilion Fundraiser

solidaridad: Monica Ratliff for LAUSD at Empress Pavilion Fundraiser:


Hello Friend,
I am happy to let you know about a marvelous young candidate, a teacher, for LA School Board in a run-off in the area I served for 8 years in the East San Fernando Valley. She grew up with a single mom who went back to school to help her daughter go to College at Columbia University. Well her daughter, Monica Ratliff, won a National Hispanic Scholarship to Columbia and then went on to Columbia Law School. After law school she went to work both at the NAACP and Neighborhood Legal Services in the SF Valley. She then decided and has now taught for 11 years at a downtown garment district poverty elementary school earning honors for her commitment to students. She won the LA Times and the LA Daily News Endorsement. I would very much like you to support her as her opponent received 1.2 million dollars to her 14,000 dollars. I hope you will join us or send your support for her campaign.
Thanks always,
David Tokofsky

One other thing about Ms. Ratliff that Mr. Tokofsky failed to mention above: she's NOT supported by Rupert Murdoch, Eli Broad, Philip Anschutz, and Michelle Rhee like some other District 6 candidates are. When United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) House of Representatives (HOR) was to vote on endorsements, I was with a group of Adult Education Students supporting my candidacy (when you work with the community, you get community support) passing out literature to voting HOR members. I was standing next to a young man who I assumed was an intern or working on another candidate's campaign because of his youth and inexperience. I introduced myself as a District 2 candidate and he said he was Antonio Sanchez, a candidate for District 6. I asked him my stock question that I ask all political candidates, "what is your stance on school privatization." I was taken aback by his response. He said "I don't like that word, we need to get away from using that word." Next morning I read in the LA Times that he came out of the Villaraigosa camp. That made sense, he didn't want to talk about school privatization at the UTLA building because he's for school privatization. At the Stonewall Democratic Club endorsement meeting I had the temerity to bring up Antonio Sanchez's connections with the arch-reactionary Coalition for School Reform (CSR), including Philip Anschutz, who was a major player in the passage of Prop 8. That truth made for a close vote, but afterwards I was told I was being unfair for "tarring Sanchez with the brush on an IE" (independent expenditure).
Let's be clear. Had I ever been endorsed or learned that and CSR IE on my behalf was started by fringe-right reactionaries including: Rupert Murdoch, Philip Anschutz, Eli Broad, Reed Hastings, Jamie Alter-Lynton, Michelle Rhee, Joel Klein, Michael Bloomberg, and others, I would have held a press conference denouncing their politics and disassociating myself from them and their vile ideologies. Of course, that's because I believe in public education and oppose privatization and neoliberalism.