January 26, 2017
Los Angeles - CCSA Advocates has endorsed four candidates running for school board in three districts in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) primary election taking place on March 7. Those candidates are:
- Board District 2: Mónica García
- Board District 4: Nick Melvoin and Allison Holdorff Polhill
- Board District 6: Kelly Gonez
CCSA Advocates believes incumbent García and the three challengers - Melvoin, Holdorff Polhill, and Gonez - are the kind of leaders all families in Los Angeles want to represent them on the LASUD Board of Education to ensure that their children can access a high quality public education.
“We are pleased to endorse Mónica, Nick, Allison and Kelly for the LAUSD school board” said Gary Borden, Executive Director for CCSA Advocates. “These individuals represent the kind of leadership that will work for the benefit of all students, encourage innovation, and will expand opportunities for LAUSD students and their families regardless of their zip code, income or ethnicity.”
About the Candidates:
- Elected in 2006 to the school board in District 2, which covers East Los Angeles, Monica Garcia has championed school reform offering students and parents learning models that include smaller and more personalized settings and has worked tirelessly to ensure LAUSD’s English Leaner population remain an integral part of the District’s instructional priorities. Garcia has also led the campaign to raise $7 billion in bonds to benefit students via new facilities.
- In District 4, which covers West Los Angeles and parts of the San Fernando valley, CCSA Advocates has made a dual endorsement. Both Melvoin and Holdorff Polhill have a history of involvement with student advocacy, as educators and community leaders, and working with teachers to advance learning instruction and parent engagement.
- In District 6, which covers the northeast part of the San Fernando Valley, CCSA Advocates has endorsed Kelly Gonez, a 7th grade science teacher at a STEM-focused middle school from Sylmar. In 2014, Gonez was appointed by President Obama to serve as an education policy advisor in his Administration. She secured over $50 million in additional education funding while leading the Obama Administration’s advocacy to increase education funding and support for special populations, including English language learners, immigrant students, homeless students, students in foster care, justice-involved youth, and others.
LAUSD is the second largest school district in the country, and the seven members of the school board oversee a budget of $7.1 billion and are responsible for the education of 640,000 public school children in 900 traditional district schools and 187 charter public schools. The election of three school board members comes at a particularly important time as the district faces critical budgetary decisions, the need to improve student achievement particularly for chronically underserved students and even greater parent demand for high quality educational options including charter public schools.
“As a parent, I want the best possible education for my child,” said Lisa Rowley, a parent at Westchester Secondary Charter School. “For me, this election is about choosing the right leadership who will lead LAUSD in a way that will ensure my child, and the thousands of children who attend LA schools have the opportunity to reach their full potential. I believe these candidates are leaders who will advocate for children first, empower and engage parents in their children’s education, work with teachers and education leaders to deliver high quality educational programs for kids and be accountable for decisions that are in the long term best interest for our community.”
The City of Los Angeles Primary Nominating Election will take place on Tuesday, March 7, 2017, with a run-off election taking place in May if necessary. Vote-by-mail starts February 6 and the deadline to register to vote is February 21.
CCSA Advocates wishes to thank all of the candidates who participated in our endorsement process, including their time spent in discussions with staff and local representatives, and the candidates’ thoughtful consideration of policy and programmatic issues. We appreciate the passion and commitment to LA’s public school students that these individuals will bring to this election and we look forward to working with them in their service to the community.
About CCSA Advocates (www.ccsaadvocates.org)
CCSA Advocates is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the involvement of the charter school community in the political process, creating a pipeline of charter school supporters and activists, electing public officials who support California charter public schools, and growing the political influence of the California charter public school movement.