Opinion: Why did voters listen to moneyed charter backers and not LAUSD teachers?

LAUSD District 4 candidate Nick Melvoin greets supporters at his election night gathering in Venice on May 16.
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: A few days after two charter school proponents were elected to the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education, something hit me: Do voters not understand that United Teachers Los Angeles, whose preferred candidates were defeated, is actually made up of teachers and other education professionals? (“How L.A.’s school board election became the most expensive in U.S. history,” May 21)

As a teacher of more than 20 years, I took this vote personally. Was it just about the money? Why don’t the voters trust me and the thousands of teachers who work every single day to educate children?

We work in all kinds of environments with all kinds of kids. We dialogue with our colleagues and continually take professional development courses.


So why did voters select the candidates who educators don’t believe will support our kids and teachers? Did the money cloud their vision?

Nancy Horton, Los Angeles


To the editor: The Times is correct that “it’s an oversimplification to say that the outcome was all about money.”

The fact remains that popular national and state leaders representing liberal Democrats almost universally supported Nick Melvoin and charter schools over teacher unions. President Obama’s former secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, did so, as did retired Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.).

Unless one argues that liberal Democrats have been somehow co-opted by Big Money, it would appear that moneyed interests and the popular will of liberal Democrats aligned on this issue.

Gene Rothman, Culver City

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