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LAUSD school board candidates weigh in on arts education



Nine of 13 Los Angeles Unified school board candidates filled out a new survey that shows where they stand on arts education issues.
Nine of 13 Los Angeles Unified school board candidates filled out a new survey that shows where they stand on arts education issues.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC

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The nonprofit advocacy group Arts for LA has published survey responses from Los Angeles Unified school board candidates that give a glimpse into where they stand on arts education issues. 

Eleven out of 13 school board candidates responded to the survey.

RELATED: Old, broken LAUSD musical instruments holding back some students

The candidates responding largely support arts education, but the nonprofit's advocacy manager Cristina Pacheco said what the school board needs are members who can turn support into action. 

"Part of the role of the board is to provide financial oversight and really make critical budget decisions," Pacheco said. She said the next school board will largely decide how much arts instruction the district's 650,000 students will receive. "They serve a really critical role."

A small percentage of voters typically choose school board members. In the last board seat election covering District 1, just 9.5 percent of voters voted. 

The survey asked candidates such questions as what they view as the strengths and weaknesses of the district's initiative to restore the arts into its core curriculum

Candidates who responded to the survey include:

• District 1 (includes south Los Angeles and west around Culver City) George J. McKenna III (incumbent and running unopposed)

• District 3 (includes west San Fernando Valley), Elizabeth Badger Bartels, Tamar Galatzan (incumbent), Ankur Patel, Carl J. Petersen and Scott Mark Schmerelson 

• District 5 (includes Silver Lake, Vernon and South Gate) Bennett Kayser (incumbent), Ref Rodriguez and Andrew Thomas

• District 7 (Includes San Pedro, Carson, Gardena and parts of South L.A.) Lydia A. Gutierrez and Richard Vladovic (incumbent)

Candidates who had not yet responded to the survey include from District 3, Filiberto Gonzalez and from District 7, Euna Anderson.

To see the candidate responses in full, visit the survey website, and compare all LAUSD board member candidates on KPCC's election guide

This story has been updated to reflect that 11, not nine, candidates responded to the survey. Arts for LA said two more candidates responded but because of a processing error they weren’t included online when this article was published.