Tight races dominate Los Angeles Unified school board elections

Los Angeles Unified school board incumbent Kelly Gonez is in a tight race with high school teacher Marvin Rodriguez for Board District 6 as votes continue to get counted. The tight race comes as a surprise after Gonez received major endorsements from both United Teachers Los Angeles and pro-charter groups, which typically find themselves on opposite sides of the district’s school board races. 

Rodriguez raised just $11,000, in comparison to the $500,000 raised by Gonez, in an effort to take the seat, which covers much of the San Fernando Valley. Gonez, the current school board president, had initially come close to winning the election during the primary, missing the 50% cutoff by 2 points. Currently, Gonez is ahead with just over 50% of the vote as of Wednesday. Rodriguez follows just 298 votes behind.

In District 2, which has garnered the most attention during the campaign season, candidates Maria Brenes and Rocio Rivas are neck and neck as they push to take over termed-out board member Monica Garcia’s seat. Brenes, director of community organization InnerCity Struggle and Rivas, a senior aide for school board member Jackie Goldberg, have garnered nearly 51% and just over 49% of votes, respectively, as of Wednesday.

This election season has largely focused on candidates’ positions on charter schools as well as on their goals for addressing the impact of the pandemic on learning and well-being, particularly for Black and Latino students.

Kate Sequeira, EdSource, Nov. 9, 2022