Rodriguez, seeking an LAUSD seat as more than a ‘charter guy’

Ref Rodriguez

Ref Rodriguez

This is the next in a series of profiles on candidates running in the March 3 primary for the LA Unified school board. Today’s focus is Refugio Rodriguez, a candidate for the District 5 seat.

What do you say to a man who founded a chain of charter schools but insists he doesn’t want to be known as “the charter guy?”


“I know, it’s funny right?” Ref Rodriguez says, not really laughing and not waiting for any particular answer to the proposition. He is one of three candidates running for District 5 school board seat in the March election, and he is the supposed charter guy in question.

Frankly, it’ll be an uphill battle for Rodriguez, 43, to fight the perception of him as a pro-charter challenger, facing the staunchly anti-charter incumbent, Bennett Kayser. The third candidate is Andrew Thomas, a professor of education at the online Walden University and operator of a research company that consults with school districts, including LA Unified.

Rodriguez launched a network of 15 unaffiliated charter schools in northeast Los Angeles, where he grew up, and in northeast San Fernando Valley. He was a young man at the time, only 27, and after working at a private Catholic school, he said, “I was frustrated by the incremental growth in LAUSD schools that was leaving so many kids — kids like me — behind.”

Over the years, the schools, called Partnerships to Uplift Communities (PUC), have grown to serve about 5,000 students. All got their seed money from the biggest players in education reform — either the Walton Family Foundation or the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He says all but a handful of PUC schools out-perform the surrounding public schools.

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LAUSD educator to sit with first lady during State of the Union

LAUSD educator Katrice Mubiru with President Obama at Los Angeles Trade and Technical College (Credit: LinkedIn)

LAUSD educator Katrice Mubiru with President Obama at LA Trade and Technical College (Credit: LinkedIn)

Among the guests invited to sit with First Lady Michelle Obama during the president’s State of the Union address tonight is an educator from LA Unified.

Katrice Mubiru is a district adult education teacher who wrote President Obama in 2012 to encourage him to support adult education, according to ABC7 and a White House press release. As a result of the letter, Mubiru introduced Obama during his visit to the Los Angeles Trade and Technical College last year.

When she introduced Obama, she noted how her family made fun of her for writing the president.

“When I wrote my letter to the president a couple of years ago, I was heckled at by my husband and kids, no less,” Mubiru told the audience. “No one replies to letters, they mocked. They said they read them and shred them. But for the White House to care about the rumblings of a humble school teacher like me says a lot about the man I am about to introduce.”

Mubiru is one of four from Southern California and 22 in total invited to sit with the first lady.

“I just couldn’t believe it. It was like winning the lottery,” Mubiru told ABC7 about her invite to the State of the Union. “It’s a great opportunity for me to represent the school and the community, and I am just very grateful to be selected.”

The president’s State of the Union address is scheduled for shortly after 6 p.m. PST.

Morning Read: State creates early childhood center rating system

California creates system for rating early childhood centers
The system is a result of the only statewide grants California received from President Barack Obama’s signature $4.3 billion Race to the Top program. Ed Source

Number of public school students in poverty passes 50%
A new report from the Southern Education Foundation found that over half of U.S. public school students are eligible for free-and-reduced lunch. Education Dive

Some of the youngest learners need mental health treatment
According to a report, 13 percent of infants a year-old and younger and 44 percent of all 2- to 5-year-olds were assault victims in the prior year. The Hechinger Report

“Schools in Context”: A major study comparing the U.S. to 8 other nations
The report tells a different story about international comparisons by looking at a broad range of indicators, not just test scores. Diane Ravich’s blog

Teen sues Culver City district over alleged sexual assault
The school failed to monitor its grounds during the attack, the plaintiffs argue. NBC Los Angeles

Commentary: Brown should bend on school bonds


Via The Los Angeles Times | By George Skelton

Since when did the state government chipping in to help build classrooms for kids become a bad thing? Since Jerry Brown returned as governor, that’s when.

Correct that: It’s not a bad thing for most people in the state Capitol — only the contrarian governor.  Brown just doesn’t like selling bonds — borrowing — and acquiring debt. And you can’t entirely fault him. That’s generally a wise policy in the abstract.

The governor’s proposed $113-billion general fund budget already spends $6 billion paying off various infrastructure bonds, including $2.4 billion for school construction. Since 2000, California voters have approved $103 billion in general obligation borrowing.

Brown, of course, has a credibility problem in opposing more bond debt. And you know what’s coming here.  lRelated Brown offers $164.7-billion budget plan POLITICS Brown offers $164.7-billion budget plan SEE ALL RELATED 8  “It really boils down to priorities,” says Dave Cogdill, president of the California Building Industry Assn., part of a coalition sponsoring a ballot initiative that would authorize a $9-billion school construction bond. “The people have their priorities and the governor has his. And in this case, they don’t match up.”

To read the full commentary, click here.

Morning Read: Arizona civics group eyes California

Arizona group targets CA for graduation civics test
Civics education advocates are looking to push through a requirement in California that public school students pass an exam based on one given for U.S. citizenship. KPCC

Plenty of credits, no diploma
The American School Counselor Association recommends a student-to-counselor ratio of 250 to 1. In California, the ratio was 1,016 to 1 for the 2010-2011 school year. The Hechinger Report

Helping the Poor in Education: The power of a simple nudge
Researchers have been quietly finding small, effective ways to improve education. New York Times

3D printers changing the way some Pasadena students learn
A $100,000 donation from a retired businessman has turned some lucky Pasadena students into technicians, collaborators and possibly future entrepreneurs. KPCC

Three lessons on the best ways to give feedback to students
Proponents of computerized instruction often point out that software can give instant feedback to students. The Hechinger Report

2 teachers accused of having sex with students at beach
Two high school teachers with the Covina-Valley Unified School District have been arrested on suspicion of having sexual relations with students at the beach. Los Angeles Times

Week in Review: New offer to UTLA, new job for Deasy

lasr logo square
In case you missed it, here are the top five stories from LA School Report this past week:

LA Unified, citing new money, ups its offer to teachers
Bolstered by a more robust state budget, LA Unified said it was doubling its offer to UTLA.

Survey: Teachers support changes in state job protection laws
The majority of public school teachers who participated in a new survey support changes in state teacher job protection laws that were the focus of last year’s landmark ruling in Vergara v. California.

Deasy to work for Broad Center as ‘superintendent-in-residence’
Former LA Unified Superintendent John Deasy will be working as a consultant for The Broad Center for the Management of School Systems as a “superintendent-in-residence.”

Feds find lack of leadership, vision, planning on iPads, MiSiS
A report from the U.S. Education Department on the district’s troubled $1.3 billion iPad program and gitchy MiSiS computer system had few positive things to say.

LAUSD middle school among California’s ‘Schools to Watch’
LA Unified’s Luther Burbank Middle School in Highland Park was honored as a model middle school by the state program, “Schools to Watch-Taking Center Stage.”

LA Unified seeking new CIO, knowledge of MiSiS helps

Help-WantedHelp wanted: LA Unified is seeking a new Chief Information Officer to fill the post previously held by Ron Chandler, who resigned in October under intense pressure following the disastrous rollout of MISIS.

All you have to be is “a dynamic, results oriented technology leader with an exceptional background to lead our Information Technology Division.”

And all you have to do is straighten out the MiSiS mess, more or less.

According to a district press release this week, the ideal candidate will “be a forward-looking leader capable of influencing and galvanizing others in a shared view of the future.”  Applicants should have experience in large public, private, government, or non-profit organizations, while experience in public education is “a plus.”

What’s less clear is whether the new CIO will report to Chief Strategy Officer Matt Hill or vice versa. About a month ago, Hill was put in charge of overseeing the Information Technology Department under a wide spread restructuring of the district’s top level management by Superintendent Ramon Cortines.

The district didn’t return a message seeking clarification.

How much does the vacant post it pay? Well, it’s not chump change: It tops out at $223,186, which is about five times what a school board member makes.

Click here to apply and lotsa luck.

Filiberto Gonzalez: a fundraiser for social justice and now himself

Filberto GonzalezThis is the first in a series of profiles on candidates running in the March 3 primary for the LA Unified school board. Today’s focus is Filiberto Gonzalez, a candidate for the District 3 seat.

Filiberto Gonzalez has been raising money for social justice causes since he was a teenager. Now, the cause is himself.

Gonzalez, 40 and a father of three, is one of five candidates challenging Tamar Galatzan to represent LA Unified’s District 3, which covers most of the north valley.

Recounting the influences on his life, he harkens back to his high school years in Salinas, Calif. on the day Cesar Chavez died.

“The United Farm Workers union headquarters was right next door to my elementary school, and my friends and I went over there to offer our condolences,” he told LA School Report.

He paints a vivid picture: The three nervous boys were summoned from the lobby to the union’s board room, “all the the way in the back,” where several members sat around a worn out wooden table. One was labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta. “She said, ‘Thank you but we need your help. Go to the local businesses and ask them to donate for the funeral, and bring it back as soon as you can.’ ”

Over the next few days, Gonzalez says, he and his friends raised several hundred dollars.

“That was a seminal moment in my young adulthood,” he said.

It launched a career as an organizer and professional fundraiser. It also made him sympathetic to the plight of teachers, who, he argues, are overworked and under appreciated. “They’re the cornerstone on which the district is built,” he said.

As part of his platform, he is proposing a plan to boost starting teacher salaries to $65,000 a year, climbing to $100,000 for educators with seven or more years experience.

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LAUSD plans expansion of after school supper program

after school supper program LAUSD

Athletes enjoying a meal from the Beyond the Bell After School Supper Program. (Credit: LAUSD Facebook page)

LA Unified announced a major expansion of its after school supper program yesterday through its Beyond the Bell Branch.

The district currently serves 70,000 supper meals a day at 584 schools. Through new outreach efforts, the number could grow by more than a third, according to a district press release. It is also expected to generate net revenue of $16.6 million, as the program is fully funded through a USDA-sponsored program, Child and Adult Care Food Program.

“When kids are hungry, they don’t pay attention,” said LA Unified board member Bennett Kayser, according to the Associated Press. “This is something that should have started years ago.”

The district said expansion of the supper program includes foods like Chipotle chicken salad sandwich, Asian salad or BBQ chicken Slider

“The After School Supper Program aids our students in their academic performance in school,” Alvaro Cortés, executive director of Beyond The Bell Branch, said in a statement  “The goal of the program is to provide those 18 and under access to a healthy meal.”


Commentary: No high stakes tests for students with disabilities

aftVia The American Federation of Teachers | By Bianca Tanis

I am a special education teacher in New York and a mother of two children on the autism spectrum. Sometimes it is difficult to separate these two roles. Being intimately involved in the education system has made navigating the world of special education for my children easier in some ways, but also infinitely more difficult and heartbreaking in others. Simply put, I know too much.

When my son began third grade in 2012, it dawned on me that, as required by No Child Left Behind (NCLB), he would soon be mandated to take state tests in math and English language arts, aligned to the Common Core State Standards, despite the fact that he reads at a first-grade level and has numerous challenges with language. I was horrified that my child would undergo such inappropriate testing.

Unfortunately, since the passage of NCLB in 2002, the practice of compelling all students, including students like my son, to take one-size-fits-all, high-stakes tests has become policy. These tests were originally touted as a way to shine a bright light on educational inequalities based on race, class, and disability. While these tests can have negative effects for many students without special needs, they actually prevent many disabled students in particular from receiving an individualized education that meets their needs. Often, they are subjected to emotionally harmful testing. Many special education teachers like myself have questioned why the practice of administering one-size-fits-all tests to special education students persists when it flies in the face of logic and sound pedagogy. Fortunately, many are no longer willing to remain silent about the flaws in this system.

To read the full commentary, click here.

Morning Read: Will reform money come to LAUSD without Deasy?

Deasy attracted millions from foundations — will they stay the course?
Deasy attracted millions of dollars from Broad and other education reformers while he was superintendent from 2011 until his resignation in October. KPCC

Movie could move along undocumented immigrant conversation
The movie “Spare Parts” recounts how a team of mostly undocumented immigrant students built a robot that enabled them to defeat MIT. Diverse: Issues In Higher Education

Governor’s proposed budget called “a gift” to adult education
The governor’s proposed budget, unveiled last week, allocates $500 million for an Adult Education Block Grant. Ed Source

Schools on military bases struggle with maintenance
There are 10 California military base schools that the Pentagon has ranked as being in the top third of those most in need of repair nationwide. Los Angeles Times

Arizona students must pass US citizenship test to graduate
Arizona high school students face the nation’s first requirement to pass the U.S. citizenship test on civics before they can graduate. Associated Press

4 LAUSD schools put on lockdown after officer struck by car



Four LA Unified schools were placed on lockdown in the Granada Hills area after a  Los Angeles Police Department officer was struck by a vehicle and was seriously injured, according to the Los Angeles School Police Department.

The suspect fled on foot, leading officers to search the area. The schools placed on lockdown were Porter Middle School and Danube and Haskell elementary schools, according to the school police department’s Twitter account. The department also said in its tweet that Kennedy High was also placed on lockdown, but it was not, according to a district spokesperson.

The suspect was arrested after a 3.5 hour hunt, according to Fox 11, which reported that the lockdown at Porter was lifted after an hour, and the lockdowns at Haskell and Danube at 3:10 p.m.

The male officer, who was taken to a hospital, was in plain clothes and conducting a narcotics investigation about noon in the 10900 block of Haskell Avenue when he was “rammed” by the suspect and sustained a major compound fracture, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.

The officer is listed as being in serious but stable condition, according to the LAPD.

*Updated to reflect that the suspect was arrested, and that Kennedy was not placed on lockdown.


Deasy, Austin join Vergara suit sponsor, Students Matter

LA Unified Supt. John Deasy testifying at the Vergara trial

Former LA Unified Supt. John Deasy testifying at the Vergara trial

The non-profit behind the Vergara lawsuit, Students Matter, is adding two former LA Unified lightning rods to their ranks. Ex-Superintendent John Deasy and founder of Parent Revolution, Ben Austin, are joining the advocacy group.

Students Matter successfully sued the state of California and its public school teachers unions, overturning five laws governing tenure, seniority and dismissal that the student plaintiffs argued kept ineffective teachers in their classrooms. The state and the unions have appealed, vowing to defend the statutes challenged in the case.

It’s the second job-related announcement this month for Deasy, who will be serving on the Students Matter advisory board. He was recently named a consultant for The Broad Center for the Management of School Systems as a “superintendent-in-residence.” Austin will serve as head of policy development and advocacy for Students Matter, leading the organization’s “Courtroom to Classroom” campaign.

“By hiring Ben Austin and adding Dr. John E. Deasy ’s expertise to our board, Students Matter is expanding its commitment to fighting for political change that focuses on the needs of our kids,” David Welch, the group’s founder and a Silicon Valley entrepreneur said in a press release today.

Austin stepped down last month as executive director of Parent Revolution, a group he founded six years ago to aid parents pushing for change in their children’s poorly-performing schools.  Under his leadership, the organization played a role in creating California’s parent trigger law and, later, helping three area schools use it. Three other schools used the threat of it to force changes.

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LAUSD middle school among California’s ‘Schools to Watch’

Schools to Watch


LA Unified’s Luther Burbank Middle School in Highland Park was honored today as a model middle school by the state program, “Schools to Watch-Taking Center Stage.”

Luther Burbank was one of only seven new schools given the designation by the program, which is sponsored by the California Department of Education, California League of Middle Schools and  California Middle Grades Alliance. Fifteen previously honored schools also retained their designation.

Winners of the “Schools to Watch” program will host visitors from California and around the world who are looking for “replicable practices that will help them improve their middle grades schools and close the achievement gap,” according to a press release from the office of State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson

“These 22 schools are being recognized for their outstanding work in keeping students engaged and motivated during this critical juncture in education,” Torlakson said. “I congratulate them for their efforts to exceed challenging goals, narrow the achievement gap, and set their students on a solid path toward high school and future success.”

Schools are chosen based on exceeding the state’s API growth target for thee of the last five years scores were calculated. Administrators must also submit a self-study evaluation and narrative application, and each school is then reviewed by a team of experts.

Luther Burbank was once one of LAUSD’s worst-performing schools and plagued with gang problems, according to a 2012 story by EGP News. The school was reconstituted by the district in 2011, which meant that all of the school’s teachers and staff had to reapply for their jobs.

In 2010, Luther Burbank had an API growth score of 663. By 2012, about 80 percent of the school’s teachers were replaced as a result of the reconstitution, according to Highland Park-Mount Washington Patch. The school’s growth API score reached 794 in 2012 and 786 in 2013, the last year scores were calculated.


*An earlier version of this story incorrectly labeled EGP News as “EDP News.” We have also removed a quote that was attributed to EGP News, but the source contacted LA School Report and claims to have never made the statement.


Group calls for overhaul of LA County juvenile justice system

Image from Chlidren's Defense Fund policy brief "Rising Up, Speaking Out."

Image from Chlidren’s Defense Fund policy brief “Rising Up, Speaking Out.”

policy brief from the Children’s Defense Fund-California, is calling for an overhaul of Los Angeles County’s juvenile justice system.

The report, “Rising Up, Speaking Out: Youth Transforming Los Angeles County’s Juvenile Justice System,” uses the experiences of five young people who were incarcerated to offer recommendations for improving the conditions inside LA’s juvenile detention facilities.

One punitive practice the brief focuses on is LA County’s use of solitary confinement.

“Solitary confinement has long been one of our society’s more primitive methods of addressing misbehavior,” James Anderson, one of the young people, said in a statement. “The problem with solitary confinement is the overwhelming evidence showing the negative, long-lasting effects this approach has inflicted upon everyone, especially our younger generation.”

Some stories told are difficult to read, such as authorities’ pepper-spraying children for minor offenses, forcing them to stand 45 minutes in desert heat while officers sat in the shade, withholding personal hygiene products and forcing youth to go hungry and live in filthy conditions.

The brief highlights certain educational programs that incarcerated youth say they found helpful and suggests improvements to the “boot camp” approach taken at many facilities that participants said stripped them of their dignity.

The brief offers five recommendations based on studies it says offer positive, alternative solutions:

  • Increase the availability and diversity of programs.
  • Foster mentorship and supportive relationships with adults, including probation officers.
  • Cultivate the dignity of youth at camp through increased privacy, cleanliness and nutrition.
  • Increase connections with family and community.
  • Improve camp discipline and management procedures.

“We need systems that heal young people and prepare them to thrive in their communities. We cannot have systems that do further harm to young people who already enter our juvenile justice system having experienced significant trauma in their lives,” Alex Johnson, executive director of Children’s Defense Fund-California and a former LA Unified school board candidate, said in a statement.

Rising Up, Speaking Out provides a roadmap for how to get there that builds on the current efforts by Los Angeles County leaders and policymakers to develop the ‘L.A. Model,’ a new approach to juvenile justice. While the County has taken some important steps forward, the findings in this report underscore that change must go much further to ensure a paradigm shift in how we treat and value our most vulnerable young people.”


‘Lowride’ with George Lopez for LAUSD, ‘Parent Trigger’ in O.C.

school report buzzComedian and actor George Lopez has started a campaign on to raise money for the Los Angeles Fund for Public Education, a charity that contributes to LA Unified.

Anyone interested can enter a contest to go “lowriding” with Lopez around Los Angeles in a vintage lowrider, join him for a meal at one of his favorite LA restaurants and be put up in a four-star hotel for two nights. The contest works like a charity raffle with the winner randomly selected. The cost to enter spans from $10 to $10,000, and the more one spends the higher the chances to win are. 

Lopez graduated from San Fernando High School in 1979 and has previously donated funds and participated in charities for San Fernando and LAUSD schools. In 2011, the auditorium at San Fernando Elementary, where Lopez said he first performed at the age of 6, was named after him.

Robotics students gather for film screening

About 900 students on robotics teams from 11 LA Unified schools are gathering at 4:30 p.m. today at the Cesar Chavez Auditorium at San Fernando High School for a screening of the film “Spare Parts,” according to a district press release.

The film is based on a true story about a team of robotics students from Phoenix who were undocumented immigrants and beat MIT students in a robotics competition. Co-starring in the film as the students’ teacher is … George Lopez.

Actors Carolos Penavega and Alexa Penavega from the film are expected to be in attendance, according to a district spokesperson.

‘Parent Trigger’ pulled in Orange County

Parents at Palm Lane Elementary School in Anaheim have filed petitions to overhaul their school through the state Parent Empowerment Act of 2010. It is the first school in Orange County to use the so-called “parent trigger” law, according to the California Center for Parent Empowerment.

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Cortines names charter school chief to lead technology initiatives

Judy Burton will to serve as chair of the Instructional Technology Initiative

Judy Burton

LA Unified Superintendent Ramon Cortines has invited Judy Burton, a former associate superintendent of innovation and instruction in the district, to serve as chair of what is now known as the Instructional Technology Initiative, nee the Common Core Technology Project.

Cortines said Burton, founding president and CEO of Alliance College-Ready Public Schools, would work with two senior district officials, Ruth Perez and Bernadette Lucas, to establish a committee to review device and curriculum options.

The committee would also include teachers, administrators, parents, students, community members and a representative from the Bond Oversight Committee, Cortines said.

“It is my expectation that the committee will review what the District has done so far, examine the funds that have been used thus far, and assist with the development of a plan which includes funding options,” he said in a memo to the school board. “As we move forward, it is my intent to ensure that we look at funding this Initiative in a balanced way using bond dollars but taking into consideration the District’s brick and mortar needs as well as our technology needs.”

Morning Read: LAUSD board backs request to delay test scores

LAUSD asks to postpone student test scores, so what’s next?
A decision on LAUSD’ s request that the state postpone use of test scores from this spring’s planned standardized exams may not come until March. KPCC

Los Angeles child protection team gears up for new year
The transition team appointed to initiate sweeping child protection reform in Los Angeles met for the first time in 2015 this week. The Chronicle of Social Change

3 reasons Democrats shouldn’t support rolling back NCLB testing
Some Democrats may be tempted to line up against testing out of frustration with problems around NCLB. Third Way

How to report test scores to parents debated
The new Smarter Balanced tests are schedule for this spring, and state education officials are worried about how parents will view the results. Ed Source

Sticking points complicate new accountability plans
The state board of education still faces the complex task of stitching together a cohesive testing policy. SI&A Cabinet Report

Local education politics has a watchdog in LA School Report
Although often described as a philanthropist, Jamie Alter-Lynton is a journalist and self-proclaimed citizen-activist. Jewish Journal

JUST IN: LA Unified, citing new money, ups its offer to teachers

UTLA President Alex Caputo-Pearl teachers union

UTLA President Alex Caputo-Pearl at Tuesday’s LAUSD school board meeting


Bolstered by a more robust state budget, LA Unified today said it was doubling its offer to union teachers for a raise.

The latest salary proposal, unveiled during today’s contract negotiations, is a four percent boost across all salary bases. The offer comes on the heels of Governor Jerry Brown’s 2015-16 proposed state budget, which is estimated to add more than $500 million in revenue for the district.

The union responded by saying the offer “doesn’t go far enough” in satisfying demands for a suitable wage increase. Later, the union said its governing body, the UTLA House of Representatives, approved moving $3 million dollars into a “reserve strike fund.” The money would be used for “organizing actions such as our massive rally” scheduled for Feb. 26 at Pershing Square.

“With millions now in our organizing fund, UTLA would be in a position to strike if necessary,” a union press release said.

At first blush, the district’s new offer would appear to be an increase from its previous offer of a 2 percent salary raise, along with two bonuses of 2 percent each, for an overall bump of 6 percent for the current academic year.

But the new offer appears to be only equal to the previous one in that it includes a 4 percent raise plus pay for professional development days that the district says represents another 2 percent.

If there is an advantage for teachers in the latest offer it’s that subsequent salary negotiations for future years would be based upon a 4 percent raise for this year, rather than a 2 percent raise.

“We are all grateful for the additional state funding to support salaries and to preserve jobs and services,” Superintendent Ramon Cortines said in a statement today.

In recent months, the union, UTLA, has altered its salary demands from 17.6 percent over two years to 10 percent over one year to 9 percent over one year. Until today, the district had held fast to no more than a 2 percent annual pay raise.

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Upcoming debates signal LAUSD school board election in full swing

electionThe March 3 LA Unified school board election is fast approaching, and a series of upcoming debates is set to kick things into high gear.

So far, five debates have been scheduled, with one late this month and the others following in February.

The United Way is sponsoring four debates for the three seats that are competitive, and a collection of neighborhood councils in Northeast LA is sponsoring one debate for District 5. The United Way sponsors are providing childcare through registration (here).

Of the four board incumbents facing reelection on March 3, Tamar Galatzan in District 3 is facing five challengers, Bennett Kayser (District 5) and President Richard Vladovic (District 7) are each facing two challengers. George McKenna (District 1) is running unopposed and hence, there will be no District 1 debates.

In any race without a majority winner, the top two candidates will compete in a runoff on May 19.

The debates scheduled so far are: