LAUSD FILES SUIT CHALLENGING BILL HIKING MAYOR'S AUTHORITY.Byline: NAUSH BOGHOSSIAN Staff Writer
Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. Unified and a coalition of powerful groups filed suit Tuesday challenging the bill giving Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Antonio Ramon Villaraigosa (born Antonio (Tony) Ramon Villar, Jr. on January 23, 1953) is the mayor of Los Angeles, California. He is the first Latino mayor of Los Angeles since Cristobal Aguilar in 1872. partial control over the nation's second-largest school district -- a move that could tie up the measure past its Jan. 1 implementation date.
The 61-page suit challenging Assembly Bill 1381 had been expected since Sept. 18, when Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger (German pronunciation (IPA): [ˈaɐ̯nɔlt ˈaloɪ̯s ˈʃvaɐ̯ʦənˌʔɛɡɐ] signed the legislation hammered out by Villaraigosa, the teachers union and the mayors of neighboring neigh·bor
1. One who lives near or next to another.
2. A person, place, or thing adjacent to or located near another.
3. A fellow human.
4. Used as a form of familiar address.
v. cities served by LAUSD LAUSD Los Angeles Unified School District (Los Angeles, CA) .
``(AB 1381) creates a new governance structure for the Los Angeles Unified School District The Los Angeles Unified School District (the "LAUSD") is the largest (in terms of number of students) public school system in California and the second-largest in the United States. Only the New York City Department of Education has a larger student population. which is completely inconsistent with the constitutional... framework that governs the state's schools,'' the suit said.
``(It) eliminates the rights of LAUSD parents and voters to control the governance of their school district. It also dilutes and diminishes the voting rights Voting rights
The right to vote on matters that are put to a vote of security holders. For example the right to vote for directors.
The type of voting and the amount of control held by the owners of a class of stock. of a substantial percentage of citizens within LAUSD, treats them differently than other citizens of the district, and impairs their right to elect the representatives of their choice.''
The suit was announced during a morning news conference attended by officials with Los Angeles Unified, the League of Women Voters League of Women Voters, voluntary public service organization of U.S. citizens. Organized in 1920 in Chicago as an outgrowth of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, it had as its original nucleus the leaders of the latter organization. of Los Angeles, the California School Boards Association, the Associated Administrators of Los Angeles and the district's two parent unions.
Later in the day, supporters of the bill -- including state Sen. Gloria Romero Gloria J. Romero is currently the Democratic majority leader of the California State Senate and the first woman to ever hold this leadership position.
Romero grew up in Barstow, and earned her associate's degree from Barstow Community College. She went on to a B.A. , and City Council members Jose Huizar and Wendy Greuel Wendy Greuel is President Pro Tempore of the Los Angeles City Council representing the 2nd District. Greuel was elected in 2002 to fill the remainder of the term of Councilman Joel Wachs. She was elected in her own right in 2003 and reelected in 2007. -- held their own news conference, where they called the lawsuit an ``unfortunate obstructionist ob·struc·tion·ist
One who systematically blocks or interrupts a process, especially one who attempts to impede passage of legislation by the use of delaying tactics, such as a filibuster. action.'' They also criticized opponents for filing it when the mayor was on a two-week trade mission to Asia.
Villaraigosa's chief counsel, Tom Saenz, dismissed the argument that the bill violates the City Charter. He predicted it will stand up to legal scrutiny because of amendments made to it.
``The school board's penchant for micromanagement This is about the management style. For the computer game strategy, see Micromanagement (computer gaming).
In business management, micromanagement is a management style where a manager closely observes or controls the work of their employees, generally used as a pejorative term. has led them to somehow believe that the charter would give in varying detail exactly what the mayor's permitted to do, but in fact the charter does what most constitutionalized documents do, they set out broad parameters of what the mayor can do,'' Saenz said.
Majority leader Romero also defended the bill and accused the district of filing suit to distract the mayor's attention from the board's search for a superintendent to replace Roy Romer Roy R. Romer (born October 31, 1928 in Garden City, Kansas, United States) was the 39th governor of Colorado and served as the superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District from 2001 to 2006. , who is retiring.
``The Legislature would not pass a bill if we did not believe that it was constitutional, so in passing AB 1381 we heard the arguments ... we considered them, we rejected them,'' said Romero, a co-author of the bill. ``This is called licking your wounds.''
A Romer or Roamer is a simple device for accurately plotting a grid reference on a map. said the district followed through on its threatened suit because it wanted a definitive decision, especially after the state's legislative counsel and the city's legislative analyst questioned its legality.
``Before we disrupt our current reform efforts in our school communities, we need to have these questions answered. Meanwhile, I fully intend to continue working with the mayor and his staff to improve our coordination and cooperation so that we better serve the students and families of this district,'' Romer said.
School board President Marlene Canter canter
a gallop at an easy pace. The rhythm is three-time, first one hind, then the opposite hind with the diagonal fore, then the opposite fore, the leading limb.
collected canter said she and her colleagues will move forward in establishing a partnership with the mayor, despite the lawsuit.
``Regardless of what happens in court, we are continuing to build our relationships with the mayor and his staff,'' Canter said.
The bill shifts control from the elected school board to an appointed superintendent, who can be hired and fired by a Council of Mayors, on which Villaraigosa holds majority power.
The law also gives individual schools greater control over their budgets and curriculum during a six-year trial period and grants Villaraigosa direct control over the district's three lowest-performing high schools and their feeder campuses.
The suit will be defended by the California Attorney General's Office. Spokesman Nathan Barankin said the office would file its arguments with the court in the next few weeks, but would have no comment until then.
Although a trial judge is likely to issue a verdict before the measure takes effect Jan. 1, both sides vowed to appeal the decision to the California Supreme Court, if necessary -- delaying its implementation indefinitely.
But Karl Manheim, a professor at Loyola Law School Loyola Law School is the law school of Loyola Marymount University, a private Jesuit school in Los Angeles, California. Loyola was established in 1920. Like Loyola University Chicago School of Law and Loyola University New Orleans College of Law (separate and unaffiliated , said it's unlikely the case will be decided by the California Supreme Court.
``It's not apparent to me that there's anything in the constitution that would limit the Legislature's power to transfer some of the power from the school district to the mayors,'' said Manheim, who had not read the complaint.
``This disempowers the existing school board, but I don't think it's a serious injury. It has to disrupt the operation of the schools in some form to be granted the injunction.
``Conceivably this could reach the California Supreme Court by the end of the year, but I think that's unlikely.''
Manheim's opinion echoes that of Saenz, who said he's certain the law will be enacted Jan. 1, but the suit is distracting.
``This threatens to take attention away from the nascent citywide development of a collaborative partnership to address the critical needs of students,'' Saenz said.
Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, D-Los Angeles, said the school district should already be fully cooperating with Villaraigosa in terms of giving him a say in the selection of a new superintendent.
``Right now the only thing they've done is skirt the issue,'' Nunez said. ``They've denied the mayor or the council of mayors an opportunity to participate in the selection of a new superintendent.''
But Sen. George Runner George C. Runner, Jr. (born March 25 1952 in Scotia, New York) is a Republican California State Senator, who represents the 17th Senate District, which includes portions of Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County and Ventura County. , R-Lancaster, said he thinks the lawsuit is appropriate because of questions raised by the state legislative counsel.
``If the mayor wants to take control of a school district, they need to go about it the right way,'' said Runner, who advocates breaking up LAUSD.
Litigants charged at the morning press conference at the Associated Administrators of Los Angeles offices that the mayor's takeover was a power grab.
U.S. Rep. Diane Watson Diane Edith Watson PhD (born November 12 1933), American politician, has been a member of the United States House of Representatives since 2001, representing the 33rd District of California (map). joined the suit as a private citizen and a resident in LAUSD's borders.
``I am personally grieved with the passage of this bill, because it's unconstitutional. The constitution of the state of California gives the authority to the elected board of education to administer the school district,'' said Watson, D-Los Angeles.
The suit comes days after the school board rejected public appeals from the mayor to involve him in the search for Romer's replacement.
School district officials have said they could announce the new superintendent before Oct. 21, when the mayor is expected to return from Asia.
Runner said the district's actions in filing the suit and possibly announcing a new superintendent when the mayor is out of town smacked of gamesmanship games·man·ship
1. The art or practice of using tactical maneuvers to further one's aims or better one's position: .
``It does sound like a bit of gamesmanship,'' he said. ``But I think this whole process has been a bit of gamesmanship on both sides.''
Harrison Sheppard contributed to this report
A lawsuit filed Tuesday challenges the legality of Assembly Bill 1381 on the following grounds:
It violates provisions of the state Constitution, which creates a separation between the operation of the municipal government and the education system.
It violates the Los Angeles City Charter, which sets forth the duties of the mayor, but does not grant him authority over public schools.
It violates voting rights and disenfranchizes voters who don't live in Los Angeles and all those who voted for LAUSD board members.
Zella Knight holds a picture of her daughter, Anastassia Knight, 14, a freshman at Granada Hills High School Granada Hills Charter High School (Granada Hills High School) is a public, charter, co-educational, secondary school consisting of students in grades 9-12. The school colors are green, black, and white. , during the press conference about the lawsuit against the mayor's takeover of LAUSD on Tuesday.
Tina Burch/Staff Photographer
LAUSD LAWSUIT (see text)