On Wednesday evening, UTLA’s House of Representatives will vote on whether to stick with its endorsements of Antonio Sanchez, a former aide to the Mayor, and classroom teacher Monica Ratliff, or to pick one candidate over the other in the District 6 school board runoff.
Sources say that UTLA leadership doesn’t mind Sanchez, a politically connected candidate who’s positioned himself as a consensus candidate.
But some within UTLA’s House of Representatives are looking for a candidate with firmer stances on things like teacher evaluations, due process for teachers accused of sexual misconduct, and Superintendent John Deasy.
“The question is, ‘What the hell are we doing supporting Sanchez?'” said a UTLA source who has in-depth knowledge of how decisions are made within the union.
Meanwhile, Candidate Ratliff has hardened her stance on whether or not to give Deasy another term as Superintendent.
In the District 6 primary, the teachers union endorsed all three candidates on the ballot (including third-place finisher Maria Cano), and spent no money.
On Wednesday, UTLA’s political action committee, PACE, will re-interview Sanchez and Ratliff.
According to an email sent to the two candidates, the Wednesday interview questions “are likely to be tough questions on subjects like Dr. Deasy, Charter Schools, and Teacher Evaluations.”
This weekend, Ratliff said she had refined her stance on Deasy.
In the past, she said only that she didn’t know enough about his work to make a judgement. She now says she would “terminate his contract and suggest we do another search.”
“He could reapply,” she said. “That would be appropriate. When they reconstitute school, teachers are invited to reply.”
Sanchez is on record saying he supports Superintendent Deasy.
Less than an hour after the re-interview process is completed, the 350-member House of Representatives will meet in a special session to hear PACE’s recommendation and then vote on whether or not to change the union’s endorsement.
Even if the House of Representatives votes to endorse Ratliff over Sanchez, it’s not clear that UTLA will be able to mount a serious campaign on her behalf.
A political consultant who’s worked for UTLA in the past told LA School Report PACE only has about $100,000 left in the bank.
Previous posts: Union Schedules Special Session To Reconsider Endorsements*, SEIU Local 99 Wins Highlight Value of Field Operations, Union Endorsements Could Affect District 6 Runoff, After Election, Board Status Quo Remains Intact