ALLISON HOLDORFF POLHILL FOR SCHOOL BOARD
ALLISON HOLDORFF POLHILL FOR SCHOOL BOARD

Supported by Parents, Teachers, Students, Activists - and informed voters like you!

  • See more Testimonial Videos here and here.

The only candidate for LAUSD with successful school board experience.

I'm running for the LAUSD school board because I want all students to graduate with an excellent education. Thank you for visiting my site. Here's what you need to know about me:

  • I'm the only candidate who has balanced a large education budget
  • I'm the only candidate who has stabilized and focused a fractious, dysfunctional school board
  • I’m the only candidate who has successfully negotiated a student-focused relationship with an arm of the UTLA Teachers' Union, changing the evaluation process
  • I’m the only candidate who has developed policies and procedures to make a high performance school run well
  • I'm the only candidate who, as a parent, has sent three kids through the LAUSD system
  • I have extensive ground-level experience promoting diversity and social justice for all our kids
  • I believe in bringing back vocational education and have helped bring auto shop back at our school 
  • I am a champion of public education and am against any attempts to privatize - I oppose Betsy DeVos (more on that here)

More About Me
I'm a product of public education myself - a graduate of UCLA and Loyola Law School. I've taught debate and ethics at the high school and college levels. I've spent the last 18 years immersed in local public school governance, most recently as a member of the board of trustees at Palisades Charter High, a school with a $30M budget and 3,000 students from 100 zip codes from all over our city - one third at the poverty level. During my time on the board, I'm proud that we balanced the budget, refashioned our relationship with teachers, and embraced our diversity as a communal strength.

I founded the debate team at PCHS, and I serve as coach.

I spend much of my time thinking about education policy that works, or talking with friends about education policy that works. It's kind of a lifestyle, now.

I have a husband, three kids, and three dogs: Lucius, Alex, Lucy, Carter, Bjourn, Felix, and Courage.

  • If you'd like to know more, you'll find a fuller biography here
  • If you'd like to meet me on video, go here


What I'm Like

Story: Allison stands up for a student, and against the odds

  • I'm persistent. I like talking with people I disagree with. I like finding solutions that were there all the time. I like to be challenged. I don't anger easily. I don't take things personally.  I enjoy the battle. I don't have enemies - just people who disagree with me...for now. 

  • Unbalanced budgets make me uncomfortable. 

  • I'm wonkish - buy me a cup of coffee and I'll talk your ear off about policy that works. In fact, let me buy the coffee. 
  • Social Justice matters to me. My experience is leading the board of a school with kids from all over our city, one-third free or reduced lunch, all with high graduation rates. When an ill-considered change in board policy threatened our diversity, we got together as a school and fixed it. Find out more here.

  • I can't think of a job more satisfying than making kids' lives better.

What I'll Do for Parents and Kids

  • I will support all public school models - traditional, pilot, magnet and charters. There are exceptional examples of all these models.  I want to move past this stale debate of one model versus another. I've seen up close how parent and community involvement can make a school soar regardless of the model. We have and will continue to have many models represented in our district. It's essential that the district learns to provide excellent support to all children, no matter the neighborhood, or the type of school. I do not support privatization of education.

  • I'll use my experience to face and fix the budget. 

  • I'll re-establish a positive working relationship with our teachers. I've done it already, locally. The looming budget crisis actually aligns all our interests: failure is bad for everyone. To regain the trust of voters, we need the public to respect our teachers collectively as much as they are loved individually. After years of disastrous choices by their leadership, that's a tall order. But if we work together, it can be done.

  • Focus the board on it's core responsibilities. Face the big stuff head on. No more micro-managing. Let's get on with it. 

    - For more on how school boards should work, check out A Tale of Two iPads.

  • A more efficient and transparent District. Voters pay for public education. They deserve clarity, humility, accessibility, and competency from their school district. And truly well-educated children.

Why Teachers Support Allison

  • See more Testimonial Videos here

More Experience, and Something Extra

I do have more experience than the other candidates in managing boards to successful outcomes. But it takes something extra to push past differences, to make a board gel, and focus on its true responsibilities. Someone has to step up.

A quick story. One of our board members was powerfully disgruntled and irascible over several meetings. She was a daunting figure, a big enough personality to bog down the board completely. Nobody could get her to come clean as to why.

I found out she was driving to a symposium that most of the others were flying to. I asked if I could tag along. It took some miles on a long trip, to be sure, but her concerns started to surface. Once revealed, it actually didn't take much cleverness to negotiate them away. Things work that way sometimes. She ultimately became a close ally on the board.

One of my fellow board members told me they never would have gotten in that car, not in a million years. Too uncomfortable, too much opportunity to make things worse.

The LAUSD board has been dysfunctional for too long. it needs someone willing to step up, and step in. If you want to get things done, you have to be the one who gets in the car.

Why Am I Running?

Because I love it. I love the challenges, the relationships, the finding of solutions. I don't fear the conflicts. I love that every time you do it right, you help many, many kids.

I'm running because parents deserve a representative on this board who has sent her own children off to LAUSD schools. And taxpayers deserve a board that stewards the district while it shepherds the resources its been entrusted with, and does it with humility and transparency.

I've been in training for this job for 18 years. I'm running because it's the job I was meant to do.


What You Can Do Next

  • Vote! March 7! Are you in District 4? Find out here.
  • Put up a Lawn Sign - they're pretty and durable! Click here.
  • Tell your friends. Here's what to say, plus a Cheat Sheet, to make it comfortable and effective. Click here.
  • Spread the word on Social (the Cheat Sheet helps for that, too)

Right now, we all need to get off the bench and do something. What better place to start than with our kids? Find out how effective you can be. And meet people who give a darn, like you. Allison is the best, most credible, most experienced candidate. She's the grown-up in the room. Join us.




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