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LAUSD TAKEOVER IN COURT JUDGE MAY ISSUE RULING NEXT WEEK ON CHALLENGE.



Byline: NAUSH BOGHOSSIAN Staff Writer

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's hard-fought effort to reform 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 culminated Friday in a three-hour courtroom showdown, with attorneys debating the legality le·gal·i·ty  
n. pl. le·gal·i·ties
1. The state or quality of being legal; lawfulness.

2. Adherence to or observance of the law.

3. A requirement enjoined by law. Often used in the plural.
 of the law that will determine who controls the nation's second-largest school district.

Superior Court Judge Dzintra Janavs said she hoped to rule by Thursday on the legal challenge to Assembly Bill 1381, which gives Villaraigosa responsibility for three school ``clusters,'' a 28-member council of mayors authority over the rest, and grants local educators greater authority in operating their own campuses.

Even as lawyers debated the validity of the complex law, Janavs questioned whether some of its provisions should be overturned.

``I do want to hear both sides ... in case I decide at least part of this is unconstitutional unconstitutional adj. referring to a statute, governmental conduct, court decision or private contract (such as a covenant which purports to limit transfer of real property only to Caucasians) which violate one or more provisions of the U. S. Constitution. ,'' she said. ``It's very clear this was a compromise measure. I don't know Don't know (DK, DKed)

"Don't know the trade." A Street expression used whenever one party lacks knowledge of a trade or receives conflicting instructions from the other party.
 how you can avoid that.

``How do I figure out which was quid pro quo [Latin, What for what or Something for something.] The mutual consideration that passes between two parties to a contractual agreement, thereby rendering the agreement valid and binding.  for what?''

Thomas Saenz, the mayor's chief counsel, said invalidating in·val·i·date  
tr.v. in·val·i·dat·ed, in·val·i·dat·ing, in·val·i·dates
To make invalid; nullify.



in·val
 Villaraigosa's ability to take over the low-performing schools would gut the mayor's hard-fought reform effort.

``This is intended as a package designed to increase accountability and community involvement in education and thereby improve the schools and those are significant parts of the package,'' he said. ``But that said, every piece of the package is important and we think that every piece of the package would lead to some incremental Additional or increased growth, bulk, quantity, number, or value; enlarged.

Incremental cost is additional or increased cost of an item or service apart from its actual cost.
 improvement.''

The LAUSD's chief attorney, Kevin S. Reed, argued that AB 1381 was passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor even though the state's legislative counsel had concluded that the bill was unconstitutional.

After the hearing, Reed told reporters he was pleased by the thorough nature of Janavs' questions.

``What we wanted was our day in court and we absolutely got our day in court,'' Reed said. ``I think she wanted to hear all the issues.''

Fred Woocher, Reed's co-counsel, said Janavs was obviously aware that political compromises had been made to get the bill approved.

``I think she was very astute as·tute  
adj.
Having or showing shrewdness and discernment, especially with respect to one's own concerns. See Synonyms at shrewd.



[Latin ast
 in recognizing how much of a political compromise the passage of this bill was,'' he said. ``In the context in which this bill was crafted and all the deal-making that went on, it really is difficult to believe if any piece of it were taken away that it would have gotten sufficient votes to pass.''

Villaraigosa released a statement saying he believed his reform bill will remain intact.

``I believe the courts will rule AB 1381 to be constitutional, which will allow us all to move past the lawsuit and begin implementing the reforms,'' he said.

The lawsuit was filed in October by an LAUSD-led coalition, which said AB 1381 violates the state constitution, which mandates a separation between a city government and its education system.

The suit also claims the bill violates the Los Angeles City Charter, which sets forth the duties of the mayor, but does not grant him authority over public schools.

Additionally, the suit alleges that the bill disenfranchises voters who are served by Los Angeles Unified but don't live in Los Angeles.

School board member David Tokofsky sat through most of the arguments, which he said offered more debate about the law than during the legislative process.

He expressed concern about a ruling that would invalidate in·val·i·date  
tr.v. in·val·i·dat·ed, in·val·i·dat·ing, in·val·i·dates
To make invalid; nullify.



in·val
 only portions of the law.

``On the surface it seems to make a convoluted convoluted /con·vo·lut·ed/ (kon?vo-lldbomact´ed) rolled together or coiled.  law simpler, but it will make the administration of schools less understandable and clear to moms and dads trying to understand the system.

``Depending on which way they did it, it would be a significant addition to the breakup breakup

The division of a company into separate parts. The most famous breakup to date was the 1984 division of AT&T (formerly, American Telephone & Telegraph Company). This breakup was intended to increase competition in the communications industry.
 discussion.''

naush.boghossian@dailynews.com

(818) 713-3722

CAPTION(S):

2 photos

Photo:

(1) Thomas Saenz

(2) Kevin S. Reed
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Dec 16, 2006
Words:620
Previous Article:KEY CITY REFORM FAILING STUDY: NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCILS LACK LEGITIMACY.
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