Monday, March 6, 2017

Charter groups and unions spend millions for control of LA Unified school board | EdSource

Charter groups and unions spend millions for control of LA Unified school board | EdSource:

Charter groups and unions spend millions for control of LA Unified school board


Alliances of charter school groups and labor unions are competing for control of California’s largest school district, raising most of the $6.6 million contributed to date to benefit candidates in three school board races.
The “big battle in L.A. has been whether or not to approve charter applications, and the current board has been slowing down the rate of approval of charter schools and demanding greater oversight and accountability,” said Raphael J. Sonenshein, executive director of the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs at CSU Los Angeles.
Los Angeles naturally commands outsized interest from advocacy groups, both in California and nationally. It’s home to the state’s largest school district, the Los Angeles United School District, and home to 279 charters, the most of any district in the country. plan in 2015 to create 260 charters over eight years won the support of philanthropists and wealthy donors.  It also deepened the rancor between charter supporters and critics.
As a result, the three school board seats up for grabs Tuesday in the Los Angeles primary elections are attracting a who’s who of major donors and well-heeled organizations trying to shape the agenda of the seven-member school board. If candidates backed by charter allies win all three seats on Tuesday, L.A.’s board will have a majority of members who received significant contributions from charter political groups.
An EdSource analysis of Los Angeles City Ethics Commission campaign finance data shows that groups aligned with charter schools have contributed most of the $5.37 million in marketing and get-out-the-vote efforts on behalf of the candidates by outside groups– roughly $3.34 million to labor’s $2 million. Another $1.3 million were raised by the candidates themselves through March 1. Candidates are able to raise money directly, though those donations are capped at $1,100. Outside groups can spend unlimited sums.
If no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two finishers in each district will square off in a May 16 runoff. Elected board members receive an annual salary of $45,000.Charter groups and unions spend millions for control of LA Unified school board | EdSource:








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