LAUSD Update: Outside Money, Side-Switching Candidates, & More
The LAUSD school board race hasn't gotten really nasty (yet) and it may not be the most expensive local school board race in the nation (yet), but things are getting really interesting with less than three weeks until the school board election date:
New Yorkers like Mike Bloomberg and Joel Klein have contributed to an independent expenditure committee organized by LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. (So has Jamie Lynton, the publisher of LA School Report, the education site I edit).
Just like the Presidential campaign, the outside groups have more funding and flexibility than the campaigns. UTLA has asked for help from its state and national chapters, though so far no funding has been announced.
DFER California head Gloria Romero is urging support for the reform-minded school board president. StudentsFirst and DFER national haven't responded yet about whether they're going to endorse or fund candidates, as they did a bit of in 2012.
Meantime, Diane Ravitch has endorsed one of the candidates -- an incumbent named Steve Zimmer who ran last time as a reform candidate but went over to the other side (or realized that being in the middle isn't fun) and is now being endorsed and funded by UTLA, the local teachers union. AFT head Randi Weingarten flew out to LA to do an appearance with him last Friday.
Oh, and the parent trigger. The mayor, superintendent, and even the fractious school board all support it -- voting unanimously in favor of the revamp of 24th Street Elementary School on Tuesday.