Outside spending for the Los Angeles Unified school board has soared past $2 million -- including $1 million in the contentious District 4 race -- which has shaped up as a pitched battle between reform and union interests.

The Los Angeles Ethics Commission reported Tuesday that the Coalition for School reform has pumped more than $500,000 into campaign materials for Kate Anderson, who is challenging District 4 incumbent Steve Zimmer. The district stretches from the South San Fernando Valley to the Westside and Hollywood.

United Teachers Los Angeles, which endorsed Zimmer, has spent about $125,000 on negative mailers targeting Anderson, a public interest lawyer with two daughters in LAUSD schools.

The teachers union, along with committees representing the County Federation of Labor and SEIU Local 99 have spent nearly $375,000 on behalf of Zimmer, a former LAUSD teacher and counselor.

The reform coalition also has spent 644,000 in support of District 2 incumbent Monica Garcia and $623,000 on behalf of Antonio Sanchez, one of three candidates running for an open seat in District 6.

The UTLA committee funded a $6,700 mailer on behalf of Garcia's three challengers -- Abelardo Diaz, Annamarie Montanez and Robert Skeels -- supporting "Anyone but Monica Garcia" to represent the Eastside district.

In the race for District 6, which encompasses the east half of the San Fernando Valley. The teachers' union endorsed Sanchez, along with Maria Cano and Monica Ratliff. However, the union has not yet spent any money on their campaigns, according to the Ethics Commission.

The next campaign finance statements are due on Thursday.


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