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Jackie Goldberg Wins School Board Election, Shifting LAUSD Charter School Balance

Golberg at home today. (Photo by Philip Iglaur)

[dropcap size=big]J[/dropcap]ackie Goldberg won a blowout victory Tuesday in a runoff to fill a vacant seat on the Los Angeles Unified School Board. She did so with overwhelming support from the teachers union that backed her as an openly anti-charter school candidate.

Goldberg received more than 71 percent of the vote to beat Heather Repenning's 28 percent in the May 14 runoff.

Goldberg's victory shifts the majority on the school board, where now only three of the seven current members lean pro-charter. The L.A. liberal icon will fill the seat left open by Ref Rodriguez, a pro-charter board member and its former president. Rodriguez was forced to resign after pleading guilty to felony conspiracy charges.

"This is not the end, this is the beginning," Goldberg told her supporters Tuesday night in Echo Park. "We need a movement to make the changes we need."

Goldberg, 74, represented this same district in the 1980s, when she cemented a legacy as a progressive activist that goes back to the Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley in the early 1960s.

After her initial school board run, she served stints in the L.A. City Council and in the California state Assembly. She left public office in 2006 and came out of retirement in the midst of a battle over the future of public education, which culminated early this year with the massive UTLA teachers strike.

The strike ended in a victory for United Teachers Los Angeles. The union now has a powerful ally on the board and a four-vote advantage in the charter school debate, as districts statewide grapple with how to reshape the privately-run, publicly funded charter school system.

RELATED: When One School Is Wedged Onto Another and Starts Taking Its Space ~ An L.A. Campus Story

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