Two candidates enter race for LBUSD Area 1 board of education seat

Long Beach Unified School District’s board of education has two new candidates vying for the open that was created earlier this month when one of its long-time members, Megan Kerr,  announced she would be making a run at City Council seat.

Nubia Flores, a parent organizer with Long Beach Forward, and Maricela de Rivera, founder and director of Long Beach Breastfeeds, announced their candidacies last week for the Area 1 seat, which now includes the areas north of Cal Heights and Los Cerritos to the city’s northern border.

The filing period for the race ends March 11, with the primary election June 7.

Kerr has represented LBUSD’s Area 1 since 2014 but opted to run for City Council in 2022 after the city’s 5th City Council district shifted into her home neighborhood of Cal Heights.

In her announcement, Flores said she would fight for quality education, especially for students of color, students who speak other languages and those with disabilities and learning differences like her son.

“Now, more than ever, in the midst of the COVID pandemic, our schools need strong advocates and champions for the highest quality public school education,” Flores said in her announcement. “Public schools are for everyone, and school board members should represent, serve and advocate for everyone.”

De Rivera, who announced two days after Flores, said her advocacy would be centered around the needs of the entire community.

“Growing up in Boyle Heights was not without challenges, but it was full of love and compassion,” de Rivera wrote a social media post announcing her campaign. “It taught me the importance of thinking beyond the needs of our own families and embracing the entire community as our own. That’s who I am at my core.”

The LBUSD Board of Education governs a district that includes nearly 70,000 K-12 students, 63% of whom are socioeconomically disadvantaged, according to LBUSD data.

Latino students make up about 58% of the student population across the 85 schools in the district, which includes Signal Hill, Lakewood and Catalina Island. The district has an operating budget of $1.15 billion for the current budget year which ends June 30.

If a candidate does not receive over 50% of the votes in the June election the two candidates with the most amount of votes would move on to the general election runoff scheduled for Nov. 8.

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