Stakes high for ‘other’ LAUSD race

first_imgTwo former school administrators are battling each other, an ambivalent teachers union and expected low voter turnout for the Los Angeles school board seat representing the Harbor Area to Watts. The race between Richard Vladovic, 62, and Neal Kleiner, 60, for District 7 hasn’t created the interest of the San Fernando Valley board race between incumbent Jon Lauritzen and challenger Tamar Galatzan. Nevertheless, the stakes are high for Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who would gain a majority on the school board if Galatzan and Vladovic win in the runoff elections Tuesday. He has endorsed both. Although the Los Angeles mayor has been rebuffed in the courts in his effort to gain substantial control of the Los Angeles School District, he has won a seat at the table, said Jamie Regalado, executive director of the Pat Brown Institute of Public Affairs. “The mayor has basically lost the possibility of having major control over the schools,” Regalado said. “The next best thing is to have a majority of his supporters on the school board. … That would allow him in the door to some kind of unofficial power-sharing arrangement.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Vladovic had the upper hand in the March 6 primary, besting Kleiner by 14 percentage points (46 to 32 percent). The two were forced into a runoff because third-place finisher Jesus Escandon captured 22 percent, preventing Vladovic from gaining a majority. Vladovic, former LAUSD local superintendent of the area from San Pedro to Watts, also enjoys an overwhelming fundraising advantage – more than 11 to 1 – over Kleiner. His war chest of more than $618,000 reflects his support from the Los Angeles mayor. Villaraigosa gave at least $243,000 via his Partnership for Better Schools. Kleiner has raised at least $54,000. While Vladovic has spoken out in support of legislation that would have given the mayor substantial control over the LAUSD, Kleiner pitches himself as a more independent voice. [email protected] (310)543-6627last_img

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