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Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education. (Photo: LAUSD)

78-Year-Old Jackie Goldberg Elected as Los Angeles Unified School Board President

Goldberg enters Presidency as large possible strike looms over school district

By Evan Symon, January 18, 2023 4:18 pm

The Los Angeles Unified School District elected in former school board member and Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg as President of the board on Tuesday, elevating her to the position 40 years after her first initial successful run for the school board.

Goldberg, a UC Berkeley and University of Chicago graduate, first entered both education and politics in the mid-1960’s, becoming a student leader in a free-speech movement while receiving her teaching degree at Berkeley. However, Goldberg went fully into education then for some time, including being a teacher in Compton for 16 years, before emerging back on the political scene in 1983 when she was elected to the LAUSD Board of Education.

She served on the board for eight years, during which time she quickly won over the teachers union do to her beliefs and actions while on the board, including being the one who spearheaded a a dual language K-12 program. She also faced a massive teachers strike, being instrumental in both securing them large raises, as well as large cuts to their pay later on due to city-wide cuts. Leaving in 1991 due to term-limits, she quickly moved on to broader LA politics, becoming the first openly gay person to be elected on the LA City Council in 1993, where she tried to pass living wage legislation. In 2000 she was elected into the California Assembly for six years, before moving back to LA and becoming a faculty advisor at UCLA.

Then, for much of the 2010s, she was semi-retired, only to appear again in 2019 and run for the LAUSD school board once more. Battling over the seat vacated by former member Ref Rodriguez, who had left the previous year following a campaign contribution scandal.  Despite being in her mid 70s and out of elected office for over 10 years, Goldberg won, this time getting another first as the first Democratic Socialists of America member to win the position. Heavily backed by the United Teachers Los Angeles union once again, Goldberg voted accordingly and has been known as a solid pro-union voter ever since.

This led to the current situation. With LAUSD board President Kelly Gonez now leaving, Service Industries International Union (SEIU) school non-teacher workers threatening to start a strike authorization vote this month, and a strike possible in February over not  having a new contract since July, board members opted to choose a member who has had long ties with both the union and school system to be President and help avoid a strike, the Board elected in Goldberg in a unanimous 6-0 vote on Tuesday.

Goldberg elected in as LAUSD Board President

“I will work to recover the losses of academic achievement for the kids. We need to be doubling down on how we get to them to be at grade level by fifth or sixth grade so that they don’t end up dropping out by the time they get to high school,” said Goldberg on Tuesday. “I consider all our employees important and not only members of the teachers union. I think our classified employees need our particular attention.”

“I will be adding two nonvoting subcommittees of board members, one on procurement and facilities and another on climate and greening. I want to increase the influence of board committees to be more in tune with making changes, suggested changes to the superintendent and his staff on policy issues, rather than having us be mostly hearing wonderful information, but not actually taking steps.”

Political and educational experts remained polarized on the choice of Goldberg on Wednesday, with many in favor remarking on her experience and history in educational matters, while detractors have pointed out her worrying background, questionable past decisions, and her  previous efforts at trying to help the union in the 1980’s being largely all for naught.

“The LAUSD board could not have picked more of a controversial figure,” explained Ellen Taylor, a former teacher who has assisted several educational boards in Southern California in the past several years, to the Globe on Wednesday. “She’s very passionate about her work and has worked tirelessly to build new schools and things like that. But she is also blindingly loyal to the unions and lacks nuance. She doesn’t even pretend t o hear both sides out. And look, now she’ll be leading the board. For those who think the teachers union is too powerful in LA, he election is pretty much the worst case scenario. She’s also nearly 80, and is now leading these negotiations. A lot of concerns and questions over her leadership are already on the table, and the president’s seat isn’t even warm yet.”

Union voting and decisions on whether to strike or not are expected in the coming weeks.

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10 thoughts on “78-Year-Old Jackie Goldberg Elected as Los Angeles Unified School Board President

  1. As if parents didn’t already have enough reasons to pull their kids out of the Los Angeles Unified School District, the election of a radical leftist like Jackie Goldberg as LAUSD Board of Education President is just one more. She claims that she will work to recover the losses of academic achievement for the kids, but the first thing she will do is to add two nonvoting subcommittees of board members with one being devoted to “climate and greening.” The District has become nothing more than a Marxist indoctrination center full of groomers?

    1. You’re right, and this is very bad news. Who even knew that destructive fool Jackie Goldberg was still around? I didn’t. Another reason to pull your kids out of LAUSD if you can.

  2. I lived in Hollywood, just off of Hollywood Blvd when she was elected to my district in the early 90’s. One of the first things she decreed was allowing, and inviting (!) runaway kids to stake out on Hollywood Blvd and beg for change. While the blvd was never a gleaming shopping mall, that act was the beginning of the embarrassing hole the sad tourist attraction is today. Everybody hated her. We called her “Fat Jackie” in those days. Things only got worse after that til she was amazingly voted out. I thought we had seen the last of her. But there she is. Hiding on the fringe of L A politics, manipulating and ruing all in her path.

  3. O

    With this sow in charge of the LAUSD and “Roz” Bass as Mayor, the City of Los Angeles is headed towards a BLEAK, DYSTOPIAN future with these Marxist women in charge of ANYTHING important…

    If you live in Los Angeles, I would SERIOUSLY consider selling ASAP and moving somewhere that your property values are not at risk of future declines from the BAD POLICIES that these two brainless people will institute that will adversely affect your holdings, or your children’s livelihoods…


    Goldberg has been a COMPLETE and UTTER FAILURE (except for union fundraising) for her entire tenure with the school system and in a position of leadership??? LAUSD is basically DOOMED….

    1. You’re not kidding, CD9, Jackie Goldberg has ALWAYS been the worst of the worst wherever she has popped up.
      By the way, I heard in passing yesterday that L.A. City Council just voted to throw an additional $50 million at the Homeless Industrial Complex. I can hardly stand to listen to what they are up to anymore, and can’t do anything anyway except try to publicize this crap, for what THAT’S worth, which isn’t much, because I don’t live in L.A. anymore, but am instead on the outskirts, which honestly isn’t much better, the way things are going.

  4. “Goldberg, a UC Berkeley and University of Chicago graduate, first entered both education and politics in the mid-1960’s, becoming a student leader in a free-speech movement while receiving her teaching degree at Berkeley.”

    This ONE paragraph is EVERYTHING that you need to know….

  5. She is an old Cal Berkeley Free Speech hippie. Red diaper baby is what they used to be called.

    You can imagine how well she will perform in this new role, putting in the final coffin nail to LAUSD- which will be a welcome relief. Too big, too corrupt and way too under-performing.

    1. BTW: The Berkeley Free Speech Movement (FSM) was never about free speech.

      It was only about the one-sided demand to allow very leftist radical groups have a recruitment table presence on the campus itself, which had tried to maintain political neutrality up until that time. Yes, Jackie was there leading this leftist political and fringe charge.

      Obviously, speech is still not free on the campus today as they routinely apply the hecklers veto to any conservative speaker, including Ben Shapiro. But at one time prior to FSM, Berkeley did have a share of both liberal and conservative professors.

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