Los Angeles Unified School Board District 5 candidate Heather Repenning came to University Park Campus Tuesday to hold a press conference in response to the national college admissions scandal. She spoke about her plan to collect money from the various defendants in the scheme to benefit underserved students like those in her district.
Repenning, 44, is running for the seventh board seat in a special runoff election against Jackie Goldberg, 74, who failed to earn 50% of the vote in the March 5 primary. According to L.A. School Report, Repenning’s platform is more reform-based than that of Goldberg, who is endorsed by United Teachers Los Angeles.
“I’m running for this board because I care deeply that all students and all families have access to good schools, including higher education,” Repenning said. “The college admissions scandal has pointed out how deeply unfair the system is.”
Repenning spoke about her plan to form a college access fund for parents and universities involved in the scheme to contribute to. The fund would benefit test prep, scholarships and counselor hiring for LAUSD students.
“I think that USC could be part of that fund,” Repenning said in an interview with the Daily Trojan. “[It] could certainly partner with our local high schools … even if we had some of the graduate students here or even undergrads helping with this counseling gap.”
A former aide to L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, Repenning said the high school requirements in her district do not currently match state university requirements, making it harder for students to meet admissions standards when applying to colleges.
“I didn’t come to USC right after high school, I had to [go to] community college,” said Miriham Antonio, a junior who delivered opening remarks for Repenning’s press conference. “One of the reasons being that the resources weren’t there at LAUSD to help prepare me to go into a university like USC right after high school.”
Repenning said colleges like USC need to investigate their admissions processes to ensure no one receives privileges because of their wealth or status.
“They need to look at their legacy admissions programs, they need to look at their sports programs, and they need to look at how they’re providing financial aid,” she said in her speech, “so that our students who are working so hard in our public schools have a real chance at getting into those colleges.”
Daniel Hahm contributed to this report.