Michael Stryer, who is vying to represent District 4 on the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board of Education, has won the endorsement of the president of an influential education advocacy group.

“I wholeheartedly and enthusiastically endorse Mike Stryer for school board for District 4,” Kelly Kane, president of the Westchester/Playa del Rey Education Foundation (WPEF) announced February 11th. “I believe that Mike Stryer’s combined experience as a teacher, parent, finance executive and active community member best suits him for the role of representing our families, needs and interests on the LAUSD school board.”

Stryer, who teaches advanced placement history at Fairfax High School, is running against another LAUSD teacher, Steve Zimmer, a Marshall High School educator. Incumbent Marlene Canter chose not to run for reelection.

Both men attended a candidate forum hosted by WPEF on February 5th where the candidates were asked to sign a pledge that the group had fashioned based on what members feel are important areas of concern regarding educational reform. Stryer eventually agreed to sign the foundation’s education manifesto, and that sealed the deal for Kane.

“At our WPEF meeting, Mike Stryer clearly stated that students come first, local school sites should get to make their own decisions, and that more money should be put directly into the classrooms, which is in alignment with what WPEF has worked toward since our inception,” the foundation president stated.

“Finally, when Mike Stryer signed our eight-point pledge, agreeing to support everything that WPEF believes in and has been working for, we knew that we had the right candidate for our school board.”

Kane’s group of parents and volunteers has led the effort in Westchester to break away from LAUSD and form its own local governing structures. Five of the seven schools have joined the district’s iDesign Division, which will assist in facilitating the transition to academic autonomy.

“I’m thrilled with Kelly’s endorsement,” said Stryer. “I’m very excited about what WPEF is doing as far as moving education toward the way that the Westchester-Playa del Rey community wants.”

Stryer has also been endorsed by City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, state Senator Fran Pavley and the Los Angeles Times. Zimmer is backed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor and United Teachers of Los Angeles, LAUSD’s largest teachers union.

District 4 includes the local communities of Westchester, Venice, Mar Vista, Playa del Rey, Playa Vista and Del Rey.

The school board election is Tuesday, March 3rd.