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LAUSD Candidate Raquel Villalta on The Budget

How would she ensure transparency and accountability as the school district spends $18.8 billion per year educating students?

By Carl J. PetersenPublished 5 months ago 3 min read

“Every penny counts, and mismanagement of money means our students miss out on essential services and resources.”

– LAUSD BD3 Candidate Raquel Villalta

Raquel Villalta is one of five candidates challenging incumbent Scott Schmerelson for the LAUSD Board District 3 seat. In past editions of the Candidate Forum series, she has answered questions about PROP-39 co-locations and Student Safety.

For the January entry in the series, Villalta was asked five questions related to the budget. For background on this subject please read the article LAUSD Candidate Forum: The Budget.

These are the candidate’s answers, edited only for format:

  • Would you have a financial professional independently evaluate the budget presented by the Superintendent before voting on its approval? YES, if budget allows

  • At a board meeting on September 26, 2023, Chief Business Officer (CBO) David Hart stated that the Superintendent's budget overestimates expenditures and underestimates revenues. Do you agree with his claims that this is a best practice? NO

  • At the September board meeting, Hart also stated that expenditures in 2022-23 that should have come from the general fund had come from COVID-restricted funds. Will you take the steps necessary to ensure that in the future LAUSD complies with rules regarding one-time funding? YES

We need board members who adhere to the budget, understand its purpose, and prioritize transparency.

  • The ending balance projected for 2023-24 reported in the first interim financial report is nearly $5.6 billion. This effectively reduces the total amount of funds spent on schools. Should the ending balance be allowed to reach this level? NO

Every penny counts, and mismanagement of money means our students miss out on essential services and resources

  • Year after year, past and present Superintendents have warned of an impending “fiscal cliff,” where the current and following year’s budgets are in balance but the third year’s budget is dangerously close to running a deficit. In no case has this deficit shown up when the next year’s budget was presented. Would you commit to being more transparent with the public in how the budget is presented? YES

Candidate information for Raquel Villalta

Ballot Designation: Mother/Educator

Email: [email protected]

Website: None listed with the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission

Candidate's description of their campaign from their website (First 100 words):

Meet our exceptional candidate for LAUSD School Board District 3 in the San Fernando Valley – an accomplished educator and a devoted mother of students within the district. She stood on principles and faith when LAUSD discriminated against her sincerely held religious belief against the Covid shot when they removed her out of the classroom and eventually placed her on unpaid leave. She is a bold warrior for freedom, faith and is in the fight to defend constitutional rights for generations to come.

With a distinguished teaching career that commenced in 2006, she stands out as a Nationally Board Certified Teacher, a prestigious certification and a testament to her excellence in the field of education. Having worked with students from Kindergarten to 6th grade, she brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the table. Not...

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Carl Petersen is a parent advocate for public education, particularly for students with special education needs, who serves as the Education Chair for the Northridge East Neighborhood Council. As a Green Party candidate in LAUSD’s District 2 School Board race, he was endorsed by Network for Public Education (NPE) Action. Dr. Diane Ravitch has called him “a valiant fighter for public schools in Los Angeles.” For links to his blogs, please visit www.ChangeTheLAUSD.com. Opinions are his own.

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About the Creator

Carl J. Petersen

Carl Petersen is a parent advocate for students with SpEd needs and public education. As a Green Party candidate in LAUSD’s District 2 School Board race, he was endorsed by Network for Public Education (NPE) Action. Opinions are his own.

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    Carl J. PetersenWritten by Carl J. Petersen

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