Voters in Los Angeles Unified School District 5 are at the polls for a special election to fill a seat that's been vacant for almost a year. Last July, Ref Rodriguez resigned from the board amid a campaign-finance scandal.
Two issues in the special election have received a lot of attention: the role of charter schools, and race. Almost 90 percent of the students in District 5 are Latino. Both of the candidates in the runoff election — Heather Repenning and Jackie Goldberg — are white.
Goldberg, and some of her Latino supporters, have suggested that the race issue is a smokescreen for the real concern: her skepticism about charter schools, which won Goldberg the lucrative endorsement of the teachers union.
L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti endorsed Repenning — a former longtime aide and public works commissioner. So has SEIU Local 99, the union for many non-teaching LAUSD employees.