Beverly Hills voters will go to the polls Tuesday to choose among seven candidates for three seats on the school board.
Incumbents Betty S. Wilson and Frank Fenton are seeking their second four-year terms. Incumbent Mark Egerman has decided not to run.
Other candidates include Sharon Flaum, former president of the PTA Council of Presidents; Peggy Elliott Goldwyn, a television and movie writer and president of El Rodeo's school council; John R. Hineline, a construction company executive; Phillip Scheid, a real estate broker, and Sheffy Eloul, a social worker.
The election campaign has proceeded so far without major controversy.
Campaign spending has remained in check since six of the candidates signed an agreement limiting expenses to $40,000 each. However, Hineline did not sign the agreement, saying it was not a pertinent issue.
Most observers consider Wilson, Fenton, Flaum and Goldwyn to be the front-runners.
The Beverly Hills Education Assn., which represents the district's 300 teachers, made endorsements for the first time, giving its support to challengers Flaum, Goldwyn and Eloul.
School funding remains the major issue, but the challengers have argued that there is a need to improve teacher morale after three years of labor unrest in the district.
Incumbents Fenton and Wilson have cited four major accomplishments: a recent three-year teachers contract, increased classroom teaching time, an agreement by the city to increase its yearly contribution to the district to $4 million and the selection of a new superintendent.
'Continuity and Experience'
Fenton told an audience recently that his election would provide "continuity and experience" in the district, which has a new superintendent and a delicately balanced budget.
"Education is alive and well in Beverly Hills," Wilson said at a recent debate. She said there is still a need to increase revenues for the district and to stress the importance of writing in all classes.
Flaum, Goldwyn and Eloul have stressed the need to improve relations with teachers.
"This is a healing period. We need to create a cooperative spirit," Flaum said. "We have been fighting too long. The teachers have the lowest morale, and we need to involve teachers, parents and students more in program decisions."
Goldwyn said the current board has "focused on financial problems rather than the programs."
"I have been on the other side of the fence, spending a great deal of time seeing what the effects of budget cuts have been," she said, adding that she would work toward reducing class sizes and improving educational programs.
Eloul said the board should be a "source of leadership and support for the teachers." She has appealed to renters in the city to vote for her because all of the current board members are homeowners and "renters do not have a voice on the school board."
Scheid said he would like to see the district stress such basics as reading and mathematics. He also said his background in finance would be useful on the board.
Hineline said his skills in management would prove helpful on the board. While his name will be on the ballot, Hineline said he has been unable to campaign because of business commitments.