LAUSD Candidate Profile: Lydia Gutierrez

“I am a strong supporter of meeting the needs of Special Needs students and finding the best environment for their educational success.”

- Lydia Gutierrez

The last time Lydia Gutierrez ran for this seat, she unexpectedly forced incumbent Vladovic into a runoff. In the general election, the fiercely independent candidate earned the distinction of being opposed by both the charter school industry and UTLA. She still managed to win 43.7% of the vote. She is an underdog who should not be underestimated.

Gutierrez is a 2nd-grade teacher in Long Beach Unified School District and serves as the California Teachers Association co-chair of the State Legislative Committee for Adult, Alternative, and Career Technical Education. She also served for seven years as an elected member of the Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council.

Since she is running as “a strong advocate for parent voices to be heard and recognized”, it should not be surprising that Gutierrez finds it “unacceptable that school board meetings are being held during the working and classroom day.” She not only supports the proposed Board Meeting Accessibility to the Public Resolution but would take the concept further by having the meetings rotate throughout the district. She also promises to “have scheduled coffee meetings in the evenings in locations throughout [her] district so that parents could meet with [her and] share their concerns”.

To ensure that charter schools are not shifting the cost burden of special education to the district, Gutierrez would request that the LAUSD district lawyers report on what laws are being broken and if any loopholes are being used to allow any organizations to deny full access into their school for children with special education needs or otherwise prevent them from receiving a quality education. She also pledges to “work towards assuring that funding for Special Education Centers is solidly in the budget.”

Gutierrez believes that “every school board, district or charter” needs to be held accountable for academic excellence for all students (including those with special education needs), fiscal accountability, and ensuring a career path and/or college-bound future.” She is, therefore, supportive of the proposed “Community Representation on Charter School Boards” resolution.


A list of the questions that were asked of all the candidates along with their complete responses can be found by clicking here.


Carl Petersen is a parent, an advocate for students with special education needs, an elected member of the Northridge East Neighborhood Council, an appointed alternate to the LAUSD’s CAC, and was a Green Party candidate in LAUSD’s District 2 School Board race. During the campaign, he was endorsed by the Network for Public Education (NPE) Action and Dr. Diane Ravitch called him a “strong supporter of public schools.” His past blogs can be found at Opinions are his own.

Parent, special education advocate and former LAUSD School Board candidate. Still fighting for the children.

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