New Tone at the LAUSD School Board
At the Schools with Audrey Linden
Tuesday, July 2nd marked the changing of the guard for the LAUSD School Board. Monica Garcia ended her reign as President of the seven member panel. Another Monica, Monica Ratliff, was inducted as the new board member. She took the oath and this former lawyer, and fifth grade teacher, will do all she can to represent what is best for the students.
Monica Ratliff’s win was a milestone. The other candidate, Antonio Sanchez, was backed by corporate big money. His funding seemed unlimited and he was a shoo-in. Ratliff, who was backed by the Union, teachers and parents, had very limited funds. But she had unlimited zeal and support from her hard working backers which plummeted her to the top. It was a way of saying, “We want a change.” And, “change” they got!
Ratliff will be a refreshing voice. While Zimmer also won over the corporate backed candidate, and his motto has been “votes cannot be bought”, his votes have not always shown loyalty to the union and teachers who supported him. Maybe now that he has an ally in Monica Ratliff, Zimmer’s voice and votes will be consistent for the teachers and students. Time will tell.
Marguerite La Motte, who would have made a great President to lead the Board, nominated Richard Vladovic. And, Monica Ratliff added something very important at her first meeting. She asked the candidates to tell what they would want to accomplish as President. And, she asked for a Vice President to be nominated. Vladovic, who is under investigation by LAUSD, a move which Deasy authorized, was nominated President with five votes for and two against. Zimmer was elected Vice President. Basically t is a title. They get no more, no less say so. But as President, Vladovic wields the gavel. Vladovic and Superintendent John Deasy have butted heads over issues. Is there any connection behind that and the investigation? So far nothing has turned up against Vladovic. The allegations were verbally abusive behavior against employees and an investigation into if Vladovic did all he could in the case of the teacher who was fired from De La Torre for alleged child abuse.
Now, with Monica Ratliff, and as a former attorney, she should be able to reign in Tamar Glaltzin, teachers may have the majority say on the LAUSD School Board. They have Marguerite La Motte, Monica Ratliff, Bennett Keyser, Richard Vladovic and maybe all of Zimmer instead of half of Steve Zimmer.
The change is reason for teachers to celebrate. Down the pike, though spread over three years are classroom size reductions back to 2008 levels and just maybe a much needed and well-deserved raise. Teachers have gone 6 years without a raise and have had pay cuts reflected in furlough days. With the influx of the Proposition 30 money, the Union’s President, Warren Fletcher, has indicated he is asking for a long overdue raise for teachers.