The stakes in Los Angeles schools are so high that advocates sunk $14 million into a school board campaign -- the most expensive in American history

A rancorous Los Angeles Board of Education election came to an end on Tuesday, securing a victory for charter advocates as they won their first-ever majority on the seven-member board, The Los Angeles Times reported.

The fight in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), the second-largest school district in the US, has been long-running, and pitted charter advocates and public employee unions against one another.

Charter schools are funded with tax-payer dollars, but are privately run.

LAUSD has the largest number of charter schools in the nation, and the majority pro-charter school board now stands to rapidly expand this number.

It was also the most expensive school-board election in history of US, with campaign spending totaling $US14 million. Charter advocates largely outspent unions.

In particular, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, a staunch supporter of charter schools, donated about $US5 million to California Charter Schools Assn. Advocates, which organised spending for the campaign, The Times reported.

The battle between charter advocates and teachers unions who oppose the continued proliferation of charter schools has been building for some time. Political Action Committees spent $US4.7 million to influence a Los Angeles Unified School Board election in 2015 that was considered to be a showdown between union-backed candidates and pro-charter supporters,

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