Maria Brenes and Kelly Gonez lead in tight LA school board races
Joshua Bay | November 9, 2022
Get stories like this delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for the LA School Report newsletter.
Community group leader Maria Brenes and school board president Kelly Gonez lead in a close race for two open spots on the Los Angeles Board of Education.
Brenes, leading with a 50.80% voter approval, is against education researcher Rocío Rivas to represent school district 2 – in the Eastside neighborhoods of Los Angeles.
Gonez, leading with a 50.28% voter approval, is against long-time teacher Marvin Rodríguez to represent school district 6 – covering the East San Fernando Valley.
All four candidates have similar views, particularly around pandemic setbacks and achievement gaps for Black and Latino students.
But, if outcomes hold, pro-charter advocates Brenes and Gonez will alter the priorities of the governing board for the nation’s second largest school district.
Brenes, executive director for Boyle Heights-based advocacy group Inner City Struggle, could bring increased pressure to shift more funding to schools with the largest percentage of high-need students – compared to Rivas who supports stopping charter school growth and increased oversight to those that exist.
Gonez, a heavy favorite among pro-charter groups and United Teachers LA, had major endorsements and a fundraising advantage compared to Rodríguez — who also opposes charter school growth — despite a slim voter approval margin.