Friday, February 20, 2015

Associated Administrators of Los Angeles LAUSD Endorsements 2015

[Bennett Kayser] is often a thoughtful voice on the Board and has been a strong supporter of programs for immigrant children, children with disabilities and children of color. — Associated Administrators of Los Angeles (AALA)

Associated Administrators of Los Angeles From the February 23, 2015 issue of Update

As the March 3 primary election rapidly approaches, we urge AALA members to exercise their right to vote. Pollsters are predicting that the voter turnout will be unusually low, even though there are critical positions that need to be filled. Four seats on the LAUSD Board of Education are open for election—Districts 1, 3, 5, 7—and several candidates are on the ballot. District 1 is the only race in which the incumbent is running unopposed, Dr. George McKenna. The other three races are hotly contested in an election that will virtually determine the future direction of the Board. Once the election has been held, the winners will join the other Board Members in selecting the next Superintendent, balancing the budget and making decisions about the iPad program, new testing procedures and teacher evaluations, all while facing declining student enrollment as charter school numbers increase.

In the contest for Board District 3, AALA has endorsed former teacher and principal Scott Schmerelson (, who is running against the incumbent and four other challengers. Scott, who is also Executive Director of ACSA Region XVI and has been endorsed by CSEA, identifies three priorities should he win the election: class sizes, school bond funds and fair wages. Reducing class sizes is his top priority. He experienced the need for this first hand while teaching Spanish last fall at Cleveland High School. His classes had between 42 and 45 students, reducing his ability to interact with the students and even to move about the classroom. Scott has taken the position that school bond funds should be used as intended—for construction and infrastructure upgrades. He opposes the use of bond money for the iPad program, saying, “The from textbook money and since LAUSD is the largest district in the state, we need to go to Sacramento and get the law The money for changed so we can use that money to purchase devices that hold textbooks.”

Current Board Member Bennett Kayser ( has received AALA’s support in his bid for reelection in District 5. This race has become particularly nasty, with the Charter School Association’s political action committee (PAC) distributing numerous flyers that attack not just Bennett’s politics, but his integrity, ethics and even his health. During his years on the Board of Education, Bennett, a former teacher, has been a dedicated, strong advocate for administrators and teachers and opposed to increasing the number of charter schools. He is often a thoughtful voice on the Board and has been a strong supporter of programs for immigrant children, children with disabilities and children of color. In addition to AALA, he has earned the support of all of the District’s major unions, including UTLA, SEIU and CSEA.

AALA endorses Board President Dr. Richard Vladovic ( in his reelection bid in District 7. His priorities include proper distribution of money to schools that need it most, a MiSiS system that works, a teacher evaluation system that’s fair and a better use of best practices districtwide. Dr. Vladovic has spent his entire career in public education, beginning as a teacher and moving through the ranks to principal and superintendent. He has received the endorsement of the Los Angeles Times, Daily News, Daily Breeze, numerous elected officials, including Mayor Garcetti, and the majority of the labor unions, except UTLA. Dr. Vladovic fought to end the year round calendar and supported the maintenance of health benefits for all employees.


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