In a stunning upset, Scott Schmerelson handily defeated two-term incumbent Tamar Galatzan in the race for LA Unified’s District 3 seat.
Schmerelson beat Galatzan with more than 3,000 votes, 55 percent to 45 percent.
“I am very happy, very excited, and I’m ready for my five-year term,” he told LA School Report late last night, referring to the extended term school board members will be serving following a voter approved measure aligning local elections with state and federal races.
While many observers predicted the outcome of the election in District 5 — between Bennett Kayser and Ref Rodriguez — would determine the future ideological balance of the seven member board, it is Schmerelson’s victory that ensures the so-called “reformers” will remain in the minority despite Kayser’s loss.
“I intend to be perfectly fair,” Schmerelson said, unwilling to describe himself as either pro-charter, pro-union, or pro-anything specific.
“I am not a vehement anti-charter person,” he explained, then launched into a lengthy speech about how many charters engage in deceitful practices dumping students with disciplinary problems or before important testing. His conclusion: “They really need to be closely monitored.”
The teachers union threw its support behind the veteran educator after the primary race in an effort to elect “anyone but Galatzan” according to UTLA PAC official, Marco Flores.