UTLA-backed candidate wins in Los Angeles school board race, overcoming outside big money

utla2March 7, 2013, Los Angeles—Despite an infusion of millions of dollars by wealthy anti-union "reform" ideologues, Steve Zimmer, a former teacher, won reelection to his seat on the LAUSD School Board. Monica Garcia, an incumbent backed by billionaires like Mayor Bloomberg of New York, also won reelection, and a third seat will go to runoff.

AFT president Randi Weingarten hailed the victory of Zimmer. "“Steve Zimmer’s re-election to the Los Angeles Unified School District’s (LAUSD) Board of Education is a victory for the city of Los Angeles and the families whose children attend public schools. Big monied interests – most of whom live far away from Los Angeles and virtually none of whom have children in LAUSD schools – were rebuked by parents, teachers and the community. They saw these efforts for what they were: an attempt to spend millions to elect a candidate who they believe would help them carry out an ideological agenda that has both polarized and failed in cities all across America.

“Real public education reform is hard work. It is not ideological. Nor can teaching and learning be reduced to a test score, an algorithm or a sound bite. Real public education comes from the bottom up, with teachers, parents and communities all working together to help all children learn and thrive. Educating our children works best when it is viewed as a shared responsibility. When some view or treat it as a hostile corporate takeover, not grounded in the values and the aspirations of the larger community, parents have every right to reject it, as they did yesterday in Los Angeles.”

“Steve Zimmer has been a thoughtful and independent voice on the school board. His victory will allow UTLA and LAUSD to continue the hard work of finding smart and innovative ways to provide the children of Los Angeles with a quality education."

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