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L.A. Now Live: LAUSD board election watched nationwide

March 5, 2013 |  8:27 am

The Times' education reporter Howard Blume will join L.A. Now Live at 9 a.m. Tuesday to discuss the Los Angeles Unified school board races, an election that's being monitored around the country.

Ten candidates are on the ballot for three seats on the Los Angeles Board of Education.

Four of them are backed by high-cost independent campaigns on their behalf; the others have had difficulty getting their messages out.

New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has donated $1 million to help preserve a board majority that has pushed for several controversial efforts dealing with teachers -- including remaking evaluations and speeding the dismissal process -- that are supported by the L.A. mayor and Supt. John Deasy.

Two eleventh-hour donations have added financial muscle to that campaign from the Sacramento-based California Charter Schools Assn., which donated $300,000, and New York City-based News America Inc. -- an affiliate of News Corp., the media conglomerate run by Rupert Murdoch --  which donated $250,000, according to reports filed Monday with the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission.

The efforts to revamp policies in L.A. Unified mirror those occurring nationwide over such topics as the growth of charter schools and the proper role of standardized testing as well as teacher evaluations and job protections.

The teachers union has been critical of the outside donations, calling them "yet another example of outsiders trying to influence the outcome of the election."