The two pro-charter candidates swept to victory last night in Los Angeles.
Nick Melvoin, the candidate of the charter industry, beat Steve Zimmer, 57-43%.
Charter teacher Kelly Fitzpatrick-Nonez beat Imelda Padilla, 51-48%.
It was the most expensive school board race in U.S. history. At least $14 million was spent, most of it by the charter forces to defeat Zimmer. Inthe two districts, only 75,000 people voted.
This marks the first time that the board of LAUSD has a pro-charter majority.
It was an exceptionally dirty campaign.
Melvoin falsely accused Zimmer of responsibility for the iPad debacle, which was in fact the pet project of former LAUSD superintendent John Deasy, a supporter of Melvoin. Deasy currently works for billionaire Eli Broad, who has proposed to put half the students in Los Angeles in privately-run charter schools.
When the new board members are installed, Eli Broad is likely to get his wish.
Zimmer’s campaign, whose lead supporters were teachers unions, is accused of associating Melvoin with Trump and DeVos. This claim is true, as Trump and DeVos agree with the goal of rapidly expanding charters as a form of privatization, and prominent donors to Melvoin’s campaign, as the article in the Los Angeles Times article acknowledges, are anti-union and Republicans.
But Melvoin took cover and won as an Obama Democrat, which in the case of education, is indistinguishable from a DeVos Republican.
Charter operators want a larger share of LAUSD construction funds and more of its buildings. They will now encounter no opposition from the board.
“Whatever their allegiance, the winners of the board seats will confront an ocean of challenges, including the seemingly inevitable growth of charters and the strain that places on the district’s budget and its ability to serve students at its own schools.”
LAUSD will now become a dual school system, with no constraints on charter growth.
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