By Barbara Jones, Staff Writer, LA Daily News | http://bit.ly/15I2ibF
4/24/2013 3:10:10/Updated: 4/24/2013 3:40:53 PM PDT :: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who contributed $1 million to a slate of reformers in the LAUSD primary election, has now donated $350,000 to support a candidate facing a runoff for a school board seat in May.
According to statements filed today on the city Ethics Commission website, Bloomberg made the $350,000 donation on Tuesday to the Coalition for School Reform, which is backing education advocate Antonio Sanchez in his bid for the District 6 seat on the LAUSD board.
In February, the New York City billionaire contributed $1 million to the coalition, an independent expenditure committee that supported Sanchez, District 2 incumbent Monica Garcia and District 4 challenger Kate Anderson. Garcia won outright, Anderson lost to incumbent Steve Zimmer and Sanchez was forced into a runoff with teacher Monica Ratliff for the East San Fernando Valley seat.
Bloomberg's $1 million donation came as the coalition tried to solidify support for Los Angeles Unified Superintedent John Deasy and his efforts to implement data-based performance evaluations and expand charter schools. Those policies are also supported by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who brokered that initial contribution.
The March 5 primary for three school board seats drew about $5.5 million in contributions to independent expenditure committees, with about $1.5 million spent on the District 6 race.
Bloomberg's contribution this week is the largest in the LAUSD runoff, and is more than double the $215,500 in independent expenditures that Sanchez reported through April 6. Since then, Sanchez received $50,000 from John Arnold, a billionaire hedge-fund manager in Houston.
Ratliff, meanwhile, has received $1,000 from the political action committee for United Teachers Los Angeles and another $1,000 from the PAC for the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters. She previously hadn't reported any independent expenditure donations.