Friday, December 22, 2006

Score one for LA schools

Yesterday Judge Dzintra Janavs slapped down Mayor Villaraigosa's bid to take over LA’s dysfunctional Unified School District.

The Judge ”found the entire law defective and ordered public officials "to refrain from enforcing or implementing" any part of it,"

Judge scuttles mayor's school takeover plan

A judge today nullified legislation giving Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa substantial authority over the Los Angeles Unified School District, a stunning setback to Villaraigosa's plans -- already in progress -- to assume direct control of dozens of Los Angeles schools.

The mayor, at a news conference this afternoon, said he has instructed lawyers for the city to appeal the ruling. He said he would also ask that the California Supreme Court hear the appeal directly.

We will not be set back," Villaraigosa said.

He added: "We refuse to be deterred by the forces of the status quo."

The ruling was a sweeping victory for the school district and puts in question the mayor's education agenda, which was embodied in the legislation before the court.

Under Assembly Bill 1381, Villaraigosa would have ratified the hiring and firing of future superintendents through a Council of Mayors that he would have dominated. And he would have had direct authority over three low-performing high schools and the elementary and middle schools that feed into them.


"The statute makes drastic changes in the local governance of the LAUSD, giving the mayor a role that is unprecedented in California," she noted in her ruling, adding that the law "completely deprives the LAUSD governing board of any ability to control or influence the actions or decisions" in schools directly under the mayor's control.

That was a primary goal of the legislation, but the judge rejected that intent as contrary to the California Constitution on numerous grounds. Fundamentally, she said, the Constitution forbids transferring authority over schools to entities outside the public school system.

She cited a 1946 constitutional amendment that "specifically removed municipal authority over school districts and appears to reflect the people's determination to separate municipal functions from school functions due to the variety of conflicts that arise between their respective interests."

Here’s the Ruling (PDF) This case will obviously enjoy a second hearing in Supreme Court but after reading the ruling and the citing of the 1946 constitutional amendment by this judge the mayor and his mob look to have a tough fight on their hands!

Although I feel the LA school board is responsible for making LA one of the worst-educated cities in the nation the answer is not turning over control to the mayor!!!

1 comment:

Obob said...

I wish we could send you IPS' super, White. This guy standsa a chance of cleaning our mightly imcompentant Sue Ellen Reed's mistakes
Merry Christmas