Mayor Appeals Judicial Decision Blocking Takeover of LAUSD

LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa appealed a judge’s ruling that a state law granting the mayor partial control of the Los Angeles School District (LAUSD) violated the state constitution.

State Assembly Bill 1381, which was signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, was scheduled to take effect Jan. 1. The law would marginalize the elected seven-member school board and concentrate power in the hands of the mayor, the district superintendent and a new council comprised of more than two dozen mayors within the district. The law would also permit Villaraigosa to take compete control over the city’s 36 worst performing schools.

Villaraigosa’s office said the judge failed to recognize the Legislature’s broad powers under the state constitution to grant Villaraigosa authority over LAUSD. The mayor may petition the state Supreme Court to take the case directly instead of waiting for the appeal to go through the District Court of Appeal.

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