Charters set to spend more for LAUSD board, teachers undeterred
Charter school supporters battling for a stronger influence over the LA Unified school board have the checkbook ready again. After providing heavy financial support for newcomer Ref Rodriguez, winner over District 5 incumbent Bennett Kayser last night, the charter group is weighing how much to spend for Rodriguez in the weeks leading to the May 19...
By Vanessa Romo | March 4, 2015
3 LA Unified board incumbents heading into May runoffs
* UPDATED LA Unified’s election season moved into runoffs last night with no candidate in the three contested races winning a majority of votes for a board seat and the 5 1/2 year term that voters approved yesterday. A low turnout of 8.2 percent sent three incumbents — Tamar Galatzan in District 3, Bennett Kayser...
By LA School Report | March 4, 2015
Kayser, Rodriguez, Thomas make closing arguments for themselves
Together for the final time before Tuesday’s elections, the three candidates for LA Unified’s Board District 5 seat were determined last night to set themselves apart from each other. In a small church in a residential neighborhood in South Gate, incumbent Bennett Kayser, and his opponents, Andrew Thomas and Ref Rodriguez, spoke only to the...
By Vanessa Romo | February 27, 2015
A snapshot look at Kayser’s positions on major LAUSD issues
While the LA Unified’s District 5 board incumbent, Bennett Kayser, did not make himself available for an interview with LA School Report as part of our candidate profile series, he has nonetheless played a high profile role on issues before the school board during his term in office. With strong support from the teachers union, UTLA,...
By Vanessa Romo | February 26, 2015
District 5: LAUSD school board race snapshot
LA Unified’s school board District 5, runs a tortured, ear-muff-shaped path from Los Feliz in the north, following a narrow band south, and expanding in the south to Lynwood. Along the way it reaches parts of Echo Park, Vernon, Maywood, Huntington Park, Bell and South Gate. With an Hispanic population of 74 percent, District 5...
By LA School Report | February 24, 2015
Challenging Kayser, Rodriguez led all candidates in recent fundraising
Ref Rodriguez, the charter school administrator who is challenging incumbent Bennett Kayser for LA Unified’s District 5 board seat, raised the most money of any board candidate since the last reporting period, $51,772, according to the latest figures posted by the City Ethics Commission. Carl Petersen, one of five candidates challenging incumbent Tamar Galatzan in...
By LA School Report | February 20, 2015
Friction starts to show in latest LA Unified district 5 board debate
No more Mr. Nice Guys. Last night’s forum for the three candidates in the LA Unified District 5 board race included lots of head shaking, some eye rolling, silently mouthing words (“That’s not true”) and at least one tiff. Perhaps some of the frustration was due to changing rules. Initially there was no time set...
By Vanessa Romo | February 19, 2015
In District 5 board race, the Kayser hits just keep on coming
Hey, remember that 1995 film, “The Usual Suspects?” Come on, it ranks No. 2,745 on the all-time domestic ticket sales list, according to Box Office Mojo. Anyway, the California Charter Schools Association Advocates, a political arm of the California Charter Schools Association, decided it was memorable enough to reprise a climactic scene as the landscape...
By Michael Janofsky | February 17, 2015
In debate, Kayser and his District 5 challengers agree on very little
Incumbent Bennett Kayser appeared spoiling for a fight last night, sharing the stage with his two challengers for the LA Unified District 5 board seat at a candidate forum in El Sereno. Right out of the gate, he goaded PUC charter school founder Ref Rodriguez and education researcher Andrew Thomas to state their positions on Prop 39, a...
By Vanessa Romo | February 12, 2015
PAC attack: New mailer hits Kayser challenger for missing paperwork
The battle of the political action committees is heating up. A new mailer sent to voters in LA Unified District 5 accuses one of Bennett Kayser’s opponents in the March 3 board election, Ref Rodriguez, of failing to disclose personal financial information as required by law. The mailer, paid for by the PAC for the...
By Michael Janofsky | February 11, 2015