Proposal To Make LAUSD Candidates Eligible For Public Campaign Funding Introduced At City Council
A city council member officially introduced legislation on Wednesday to laying the groundwork for a program that, if enacted, would allow candidates in Los Angeles Unified school board races to use public money to help run their campaigns.
What happened: Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell formally introduced a motion asking city officials to study opening L.A.'s "matching funds" program to candidates in LAUSD elections, likely through a ballot measure in 2024. Councilmembers Paul Krekorian and Curren Price seconded the motion.
The backstory: L.A. is on the brink of overhauling its electoral system in the wake of the City Hall audio scandal. Council members have already started the process to place a measure on the 2024 ballot creating an independent panel to re-draw local election districts, including for LAUSD board seats. O'Farrell's motion, if enacted, would add an expansion of the matching funds program to this overhaul.
Why it matters: Most city council candidates take part in the matching funds program, in which the city pays candidates $6 for every matchable dollar they raise, within certain limits. This makes it easier for candidates without big-money backing to mount serious campaigns. Right now, LAUSD candidates have no such program, meaning special interest groups — charter school advocates in particular, and teachers unions to a lesser-but-still-significant extent — dominate school board elections.
Go deeper: We covered this proposal when O'Farrell first floated it earlier this month.