Councilman Mitch O’Farrell Wednesday proposed candidates for the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education be eligible for the city’s Public Matching Funds program, which allows candidates to receive funding for their campaigns through a public financing system.

Candidates running for city office can seek matching funds through the program, which was established in 1990 in an attempt to reduce the power of special interests, but it does not cover candidates for school board seats.

“Let’s be consistent in ensuring equal opportunity for all potential candidates for public office in the city of Los Angeles,” O’Farrell said.

Candidates who meet spending limit guidelines can receive public dollars, matched at a six-to-one rate.

“Empowering non-traditional candidates for public office will help bring more equitable representation to Angelenos, and that’s going to be good for our city,” O’Farrell said.

O’Farell’s motion seeks for the city’s Ethics Commission to report on the feasibility of allowing Board of Education candidates to participate in the program.

More than $54 million has been spent by independent expenditure groups on LAUSD races since 2011, according to the motion. There are no contribution limits to independent expenditure groups. There is a $1,300 limit to donations to school board candidates per election.

O’Farrell said allowing school board candidates to participate in the program would help empower non-traditional candidates running for public office, which would bring more equitable representation to the city.

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