California Election 2022: LA School Board Voters Guide

The San Fernando Valley East District includes Sylmar, San Fernando, Mission Hills, Pacoima, Arleta, North Hills East, Panorama City, Sun Valley, North Hollywood, Toluca Lake, Shadow Hills, Lake View Terrace, Sunland and Tujunga.


Age: 43

Cast: Rodriguez is a Cleveland High School Spanish teacher.

Experiences: He has been teaching for 18 years, starting right out of college. He previously served as a Marine with combat duty in Iraq. Rodriguez trains in a student training program to run marathons and has two children in district schools.

Criticism of the incumbent: Her teaching experience was limited, she needs to work more transparently and listens to special interests rather than parents.

Priorities: 1) Expand “community schools” to provide broad services for students and families as well as a meaningful, responsive curriculum that incorporates community input. 2) Ensure that early learning is meaningful to more students, especially in vulnerable communities. 3) Ensure that centers for students with disabilities are fully funded to provide the necessary support for students with moderate to severe disabilities.

Evaluation of the new superintendent: Overall so far so good and “says the right things”. But they must listen to the opinions of teachers “who are directly involved in making our students successful.” He added that the new practice of bringing in administrators to fill teacher vacancies hasn’t worked as well because those administrators don’t have experience and struggle with students.

COVID Vaccination Mandate: He supported the staff mandate, but would consider loosening it to bring back needed teachers who haven’t lost their jobs — as long as they agree to wear face coverings on campus. He would oppose the student mandate until state or federal officials required it.

At charter schools: He previously taught at a charter school and concluded that “charters don’t necessarily play by the same rules. The oversight is a bit lax and the working conditions are not optimal… If we allow charters to come in and siphon off some of the resources that our neighborhood schools are starving for, how are we going to create these strong neighborhood schools? “

Proposed 20% increase for employees: “If the district shuffles some of the budget, I’m sure they could find a way to make sure their employees earn living wages — especially when we’re talking about living in the most expensive city in the United States. You need to at least adjust for inflation so the teachers know you are negotiating in good faith.

school police: “My vision is campuses without police. But in order to do that, we need to provide our students with the services they need and the options to enable them to make better decisions. Until we do that, there is a role for police officers to work with our students in a non-punitive role, more of a mentor. They can also make sure our schools remain secure from the outside.”

Summary of test results: Since face-to-face instruction has been restored, “the test scores are moving in the right direction … telling us exactly what we already knew: Our students perform better when they have a chance to be together, to work together, to be in school, to build on relationships that go far beyond the academic environment.”

Quote: “We talk a lot about academic success, and believe me, it’s important, but public education has failed to give students the extra support they need to reach the whole child.”



Age: 34

Cast: Gonez is an incumbent on the school board and was elected in 2017.

Experiences: She has five years of teaching experience and served as an educator in the Obama administration. He is the parent of two children, the older one entered the district transitional kindergarten program.

Achievements: She cites the district’s response to the pandemic, which she said was robust and compassionate in providing food and technology and safe campuses; also more students taking Advanced Placement courses and enrolling in dual language programs. It also points to increased access to high-quality programs east of the San Fernando Valley, as well as more pressing efforts to “greener” campuses by removing asphalt and adding trees and outdoor learning and recreational spaces.

Priorities: 1) The COVID recovery must continue by confronting the “ripple effects” on staff, student learning, mental health while ensuring equity in all programs. 2) Expand early education to achieve universal preschool education. 3) Continue to focus on college and career readiness.

Evaluation of the new superintendent: “I was really pleased to create a strategic plan for the first time in many years… which really lays the groundwork for all the work we need to undertake. But ultimately, I want to see a lot of improvement in terms of academic achievement for our students, the social-emotional support and trauma response that we see among our students, as well as stabilization of our district’s finances.”

The COVID Vaccination Mandate: It supports the district’s policy mandating the vaccine for staff and encourages student vaccinations, while remaining consistent with state policy that delayed the student mandate.

At charter schools: When charters and traditional schools share campus, she would like to allow more flexibility to protect critical spaces such as parent centers or intervention rooms for struggling students, although state law limits such considerations. He does not support new charters in his district or throughout the school system.

Proposed 20% increase for employees: “I don’t know. I want all of our employees to get a significant raise. This is absolutely a credit to not only their work, but the need to retain and support our hard-working employees at a time when it’s really hard to live in Los Angeles.”

school police: “True school safety really requires a comprehensive, holistic approach… It’s really about using many different strategies to keep our students safe, and building positive relationships with adults is paramount, as is the infrastructure of our schools. .. Because there are many crises that often occur off our campuses, we need emergency response personnel and that is the role that the school police play in their current formation.”

Summary from the test results: “The pandemic has had a real impact on learning, particularly those who were most vulnerable to begin with, in addition to the trauma and the mental health and socio-emotional impacts that we know are also affecting them, and I think that creates a new level of urgency that we they’ve really made sure that we’re responding to these holistic and urgent needs of our students and school communities, and we’re really using every possible strategy.”

Quote: “During one of the most challenging times in our history, I have demonstrated the ability to make difficult decisions for the betterment of our students and families, especially those who are most vulnerable. And I have provided for my community here in the San Fernando Valley,” including “establishing the first ever Center for Enriched Studies in the East Valley.



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