Southern California breaking news and trends

Democrats fight over future of public education in San Fernando Valley Assembly race (updated)

Brian Johnson

Raphye Alexius/Johnson campaign

Brian Johnson ran charter schools before he decided to run for the state Assembly. He says that the California Teachers Association is now misrepresenting his views on education.

A candidate running for the state Assembly in the San Fernando Valley has asked the California Teachers Association to back off of claims that he wants to hand out school vouchers and privatize public schools.

Brian Johnson, who was the executive director of the Larchmont Charter Schools until he decided to run for office, is supported by more than $916,000 in independent expenditures from groups like EdVoice and Parents and Teachers for Putting Students First, which is operated by the former head of Washington, D.C. public schools, Michelle Rhee. Johnson has remained on staff at Larchmont Charter Schools as a senior academic officer.

The California Teachers Association has spent $151,000 on mailers, robo calls and Internet ads in opposition to Johnson. The union has backed Andrew Lachman in the race.