Antonio amends school takeover plan to soothe smaller cities

first_imgBowing to pressure from neighboring cities, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has amended his takeover plan for Los Angeles area public schools to grant their mayors veto power on all decisions except the budget. Villaraigosa originally hoped to get a bill before the Legislature that would grant the Los Angeles mayor 80 percent voting power on all major decisions, with 27 other cities in the Los Angeles Unified School District sharing the remaining 20 percent. He recently amended his plan, however, to grant veto authority to the other mayors if a majority of them disapprove of his actions, including hiring or firing a superintendent. Villaraigosa would still retain 80 percent voting power on budget issues. “We wanted to be responsive to the other mayors, and they were concerned about the proportional vote and that they would have no influence,” said Thomas Saenz, counsel to the mayor. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsSaenz said Villaraigosa also has changed his plan on how the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors would be represented on the council of mayors. Originally, one of the five supervisors would have represented the entire board. Under the new plan, supervisorial districts that fall in the LAUSD – at least two, but possibly up to four – would each get a vote. The mayor hopes to get a bill in June. However, no lawmaker has publicly agreed to sponsor the mayor’s plan. Officials for the smaller cities were pleased at the changes. “It just shows me that Mayor Villaraigosa is very attentive to and sensitive to the needs of the other communities that make up the whole LAUSD jurisdiction,” said Carson Mayor Jim Dear. “It just shows the mayor is attempting to build consensus and not force through what he has come up with as a plan.” The concession comes days after officials in six southeast cities _ with about 65,000 of the LAUSD’s students _ announced they were considering creation of a joint-powers authority to give them more direct control over their schools. Officials in South Gate, Bell, Huntington Park, Cudahy, Maywood and Vernon are working to create the local agency that would give them authority to select their own superintendent, gain some control over funding and have a greater say over the curriculum. The recent push to control LAUSD has given officials in neighboring cities, who have long complained about not having a voice in LAUSD, the venue to get together and possibly resurrect plans of breaking away from the district. Villaraigosa has endorsed the concept of a joint-powers authority and also has said that if cities choose to break away, he would support their decision. [email protected] (818) 713-3722160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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