Former Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) board member Jackie Goldberg defeated former vice president of the Board of Public Works Commissioners Heather Repenning in a runoff election for the District 5 seat on the LAUSD Board of Education in California Tuesday night. Goldberg received 72 percent of the vote to Repenning’s 28 percent, according to unofficial results.
The district’s elections in 2017 flipped the LAUSD board from a 4-3 majority of members supported by United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) to a 4-3 majority of members supported by the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA). Former District 5 member Ref Rodriguez, who resigned in 2018 and whose seat was up for election, was a member of the latter group. Goldberg’s election returns the board to a majority of UTLA-backed members.
LAUSD is the second-largest school district in the United States and had 224 independently operated charter schools in 2017, more than any other school district in the nation.
In 2019, UTLA endorsed Goldberg, and the CCSA did not endorse a candidate. Both Goldberg and Repenning said they support holding charter schools to the same standards as public schools, but they differed in the degree of emphasis they placed on charter school policy and other issues in their campaigns. Goldberg made charter school accountability a key plank of her campaign. Repenning described herself as a coalition builder and emphasized other issues.
In addition to UTLA, Goldberg’s endorsers included U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters (D) and the Los Angeles chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America. Repenning received endorsements from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 99, Mayor Eric Garcetti (D), and the Los Angeles Times editorial board, among others.