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UTLA unsure of financial support for teachers in board race

Vanessa Romo | April 14, 2014

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imagesWinning endorsement is one thing. Winning financial support is quite another.

UTLA, the teachers union, has endorsed three candidates in the June 3 special election to fill LA Unified’s District 1 board seat, all three with ties to the union: Rachel Johnson and Sherlett Hendy-Newbill are teachers, and Hattie McFrazier is a former teacher.

The head of UTLA’s political action committee, PACE, said the union will promote all three on the ballot equally, but that support might not come with a lot of union financial support.

“We believe in all of the teachers we’ve endorsed,” Marco Flores told LA School Report. “But the truth is, whoever gets elected won’t be there very long.”

Flores says the timing of the special election in June is too close to the regular school board elections in 2015, when four seats will be up for grabs, including District 1 again. And campaigning for those races, he said, will begin on Labor Day — just shortly after the new District 1 member would take a seat on the board if the election goes to an Aug. 12 runoff.

The question before UTLA and PACE, he said, is: “How much are we going to ask for, from our friends, from our affiliates, from the different groups that we get money from, for this particular race when nine months from now we’re going to be having another four races?”

Next year’s elections will be for board districts 1, 3, 5, and 7.

So far two board members have declared their intention to run as incumbents: Board president Richard Vladovic (7) will be seeking a third term and Bennett Kayser (5) is going after a second.

Barbara Jones, Chief of Staff for board member Tamar Galatzan (3), told LA School Report last week, “She hasn’t announced yet whether she is running.”

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