Schmerelson, an incumbent who is strongly allied with the teachers union, United Teachers Los Angeles, has been the most vocally hostile to Beutner and to the growth of charter schools in the district. Yet he is not so rigid in practice, and, to his credit, has actually voted to approve many charters.
Schmerelson shows a dismaying tendency to think narrowly about his own district, which covers the West San Fernando Valley, rather than the students of L.A. Unified as a whole. Asked why there were so few magnet schools in South Los Angeles and other areas of the district where the need is high, he replied that it was up to individual board members to ask for these programs in their district.
Not quite. While board members have a particular obligation to their own districts, it is their responsibility to consider the fair allocation of resources to all students.
But Schmerelson is a stronger candidate than either of his challengers.