So Cal education, LAUSD, the Cal States and the UCs

Steve Zimmer and Kate Anderson face off on AirTalk

Vanessa Romo/KPCC

Attorney Kate Anderson is challenging one-term incumbent and career teacher Steve Zimmer for the Los Angeles Unified School Board.

Attention Pass/Failers: LAUSD School Board candidates for District 4 will be on AirTalk at noon today.

Larry Mantle will be hosting the 20-minute debate between incumbent Steve Zimmer and Kate Anderson, who are vying to represent the west-side district.

If you have questions you’d like to have Larry ask either of the candidates call in at 866-893-5722. 

Cheat notes for the debate

District 4 covers the area from the Westside, east to Hollywood, and north into parts of the San Fernando Valley.

This race is the most hotly contested and scrutinized so far because it will definitely be decided on Tuesday with only two candidates.

Some argue if one-term incumbent Steve Zimmer, the sole swing vote on the evenly split board, loses to Kate Anderson, that could clear the path for Superintendent John Deasy’s aggressive policies, which include a charter-friendly environment and the use of student test data in teacher evaluations. 

In his first run for the seat, Zimmer was championed by United Teachers Los Angeles and several charter organizations as a “bridge builder.” But he’s since fallen out of favor with that brand of reform, which is putting a lot of money behind Anderson. 

UTLA continues to endorse Zimmer and it’s the only of the three LAUSD school board races that UTLA’s political action committee is spending any real money on so far. UTLA-PACE has invested nearly $700,000 in getting him elected. 

Anderson is a former congressional staffer and attorney, and a darling of the reform movement. The Coalition for School Reform has pumped more than $1.1 million into her campaign. 

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