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School Board District 5 candidate: Karla Griego


Art by Ket Gill. Reference photo provided by Alina Albuja.

As you may know, election day is fast approaching, ballots have dropped, and our school board member in Board District 5, Jackie Goldberg, is retiring. With that seat open, the Eagle Rock neighborhood and all of Board District 5 voters have a chance to vote and elect a new person for that seat. Karla Griego, an Eagle Rock High School parent and long-time LAUSD teacher, is one of the four candidates running for Board District 5. 


As you read this article, please keep in mind that it is being co-written by the daughter of the candidate, so it is subject to bias. Overall, this article will tell you about Karla and her platform and will give you insight into a local political campaign that will affect students all across the district.


Growing up in Los Angeles after emigrating from El Salvador, Karla has been a long-time teacher and parent in the Eagle Rock Neighborhood. Living in Eagle Rock for 20 years, and as an educator for 19 years, she began her career at Franklin High School. From there she worked at Buchanan Street Elementary and Sotomayor High School, until moving to her current position as the Community School Coordinator at McAlister High School, which is an “option school for pregnant parenting minors.” As “a special education teacher in the special day program” for the majority of her career, as well as an English language coordinator for one year, Karla has dedicated herself to one of the most vulnerable populations in the district and would be the first special education teacher to ever serve on the board, if elected. 


Jackie Goldberg has held the Board District 5 seat for 5 years, and with the seat rapidly approaching availability, Karla says that she “thought that this was a great opportunity for our communities to have a current parent and a current teacher on the school board.” Going from an in-classroom teacher to being an elected official is a drastic shift. When asked what inspired her to take this jump into politics, Karla explains, “I was inspired by my daughter and my students and my colleagues, who, for many years, have been fighting to get more resources for students.” These educators who inspire her to run are the thousands of UTLA members and campus staff who have been dedicated to their student’s education and who have gone on strike for their students twice in the past ten years. Walking the line along with her fellow educators for the students of Los Angeles in both the 2019 and 2023 strike and as an elected UTLA leader for years, Karla “was at the table helping shape some of the contract language that would later become LAUSD policy, especially around class size, bringing in more staff like nurses and librarians.” Due to Karla’s dedication to her students and fellow educators, she was able to receive her own union's endorsement of over 35,000 educators across the district. “It makes me very proud that my colleagues and my fellow union siblings recognize all of this work and trust that I will continue doing the fight that I've been doing on the ground while on the board,” Karla says.


As a Special Education teacher, Karla wants to “continue making sure that we make decisions, budgetary decisions at the district level that centers our most vulnerable students.” To her, this means funding and supporting the whole child. What does the whole child mean? “It means supporting their social-emotional wellbeing, providing mental health support, providing an enriching curriculum that includes ethnic studies.” Karla also knows that some students might not want to embark on going to college, which is why she wants to make sure that the district is “providing career pathways for students who may not want to go to college but want to be prepared to do something else.” Karla is also committed to expanding Community Schools and the Black Student Achievement Plan which is “the long-awaited investment in our black youth.” Currently, she is her school's Community Schools Coordinator where she worked tirelessly to get her school the title and resources that Community Schools receive. In her words, a Community School “is a democratic and collaborative model of leadership, whereby all stakeholders have a say so in how budgets are determined and how priorities are set based on the community's assets and needs.”


When voting on one of the four candidates running for School Board District 5, make sure to do your research and consider Karla Griego as who you vote for.

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