L.A. School Board Race Tops Spending Records
The price tag to win a seat in this week’s primary election for the Los Angeles school board climbed to unprecedented levels, as a massive influx of outside cash has turned a local campaign into a national showdown pitting the long-standing influence of teachers’ unions against the expanding imprint of deep-pocketed education activists.
In the days leading up to the March 5 primary, total spending in three races for the Los Angeles board of education surpassed $4 million, roughly the same amount that Tom Torlakson, California’s schools chief, spent to win his statewide election in 2010. More than 80 percent of that spending on the Los Angeles races came through independent expenditures in behalf of candidates. Three seats are up for grabs on the seven-member board.
Much of the money poured into the Coalition for School Reform , a Los Angeles group that had been spending the cash on behalf of three candidates who back district Superintendent John E. Deasy and his agenda of revamping teacher evaluations to include student outcomes, speeding the process for firing underperforming teachers and principals,...
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