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Spending In LAUSD Races Shatters Record — And There Are Still Two Weeks Til Election Day

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Outside political groups have spent more than $14.9 million trying to sway the outcomes of this year’s Los Angeles Unified school board races.

That total sets a new “independent expenditure” record for any LAUSD campaign — and there are still two weeks left until voters decide the two competitive races.

The old record was set just three years ago: in 2017, pro-charter school groups pulled out all the stops in hopes of unseating an incumbent and turning a wide-open race in their favor.

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This year, the same storyline is repeating itself: The California Charter Schools Association and deep-pocketed pro-charter donors have combined to spend nearly $12 million this cycle.

Teachers unions are a traditional power in LAUSD politics, but their financial arsenal has been no match for that of the charter groups. United Teachers Los Angeles has spent $2.6 million trying to influence the outcomes of the two races.

As we explained in our field guide to the race, most of the spending in LAUSD races comes from independent expenditure groups. The candidates themselves have no say over this outside spending; their campaigns have their own fundraising efforts — but they can’t raise the sums these outside groups can.


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