Charter Schools and Race at Center of LAUSD District 5 Election

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Voters in Los Angeles Unified School District 5 are at the polls for a special election to fill a seat that's been vacant for almost a year. Last July, Ref Rodriguez resigned from the board amid a campaign-finance scandal.

Two issues in the special election have received a lot of attention:  the role of charter schools, and race.  Almost 90 percent of the students in District 5 are Latino.  Both of the candidates in the runoff election — Heather Repenning  and Jackie Goldberg — are white. 

Goldberg, and some of her Latino supporters, have suggested that the race issue is a smokescreen for the real concern:  her skepticism about charter schools, which won Goldberg the lucrative endorsement of the teachers union. 

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti endorsed Repenning — a former longtime aide and public works commissioner.  So has SEIU Local 99, the union for many non-teaching LAUSD employees.