MAYOR LOSES IN COURT JUDGE RULES SCHOOL-REFORM BILL UNCONSTITUTIONAL, BUT APPEAL IS PLANNED.Byline: NAUSH BOGHOSSIAN Staff Writer
In a major political blow to 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. , a judge on Thursday declared unconstitutional the state Assembly bill that would give the mayor substantial control over 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. and blocked its Jan. 1 implementation.
But while district officials called the ruling just, Villaraigosa remained defiant, calling it a ``bump in the road'' and vowing to immediately appeal.
``This ruling may seem like a disappointing setback for our kids, but I want to be absolutely clear today -- we will not be set back,'' he said. `` ... We refuse to be defeated by the forces of the status quo [Latin, The existing state of things at any given date.] Status quo ante bellum means the state of things before the war. The status quo to be preserved by a preliminary injunction is the last actual, peaceable, uncontested status which preceded the pending controversy. . I believe we have the law on our side, I believe we have the constitution on our side, and more than that, I believe we have the people on our side.''
And despite the ruling, he said his staff would continue to plan for a mayoral takeover of the 708,000-student district and vowed to get involved in the March school board election, when four of the seven seats are up for grabs.
Putting on a conciliatory con·cil·i·ate
v. con·cil·i·at·ed, con·cil·i·at·ing, con·cil·i·ates
1. To overcome the distrust or animosity of; appease.
2. face, district officials said they were gratified grat·i·fy
tr.v. grat·i·fied, grat·i·fy·ing, grat·i·fies
1. To please or satisfy: His achievement gratified his father. See Synonyms at please.
2. with the ruling and stressed that they want to create a partnership with the mayor and the city of Los Angeles
School board President Marlene Canter said she and Superintendent David Brewer This article is about the businessman and Lord Mayor of London; for the American jurist, see David Josiah Brewer
Sir David Brewer CMG (born 1940) was Lord Mayor of London between 2005 and 2006. III already had spoken with the mayor and that they all ``agreed to work together on behalf of our students.''
Thursday's ruling ``confirms our long-standing belief that this legislation was unconstitutional and not in the best interest of our students,'' she said.
In a strong rebuke of the mayor's plan -- Assembly Bill 1381 -- 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. County Superior Court Judge Dzintra Janavs sided with all four of the district's arguments on the legality of the bill, including that it violates the state constitution, the City Charter and voter rights.
The judge said the unconstitutional portions of the bill cannot be separated from the rest, meaning the whole thing had to be thrown out.
``There is substantial evidence that passage of AB 1381 was the result of political compromise and that its provisions are so interconnected and so critically dependent upon one another that no single provision would have been enacted or should be given effect without the whole,'' Janavs wrote in the 20-page ruling.
The district challenged the bill, contending that it violated provisions of the state constitution, which creates a separation between the operation of the municipal government and the education system; the L.A. City Charter, which sets forth the duties of the mayor but does not grant him authority over public schools; and 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. , disenfranchising voters who don't live in Los Angeles and those who voted for LAUSD LAUSD Los Angeles Unified School District (Los Angeles, CA) board members.
The ruling came after a yearlong battle between the Mayor's Office and the district, with Villaraigosa wanting to shake up the LAUSD with reforms aimed at raising student achievement faster and reducing the dropout (1) On magnetic media, a bit that has lost its strength due to a surface defect or recording malfunction. If the bit is in an audio or video file, it might be detected by the error correction circuitry and either corrected or not, but if not, it is often not noticed by the human rate, which has been pegged anywhere between 24 percent and 50 percent.
He proposed stripping away the school board's authority and shifting it to the superintendent; creating a 28-member council of mayors to review the budget and ratify hiring of new superintendents; giving the mayor direct oversight of three clusters of the district's lowest-performing schools; and giving schools greater control over budget and curriculum.
Critics called Villaraigosa's efforts a power grab. Besides a few community meetings, he didn't put it to a public vote and used his significant political clout to have the Legislature pass the bill in August. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger (German pronunciation (IPA): [ˈaɐ̯nɔlt ˈaloɪ̯s ˈʃvaɐ̯ʦənˌʔɛɡɐ] signed it into law in September, and a coalition led by the district filed suit in October.
For the popular mayor, who used substantial political capital to push for the school reform, the judge's decision is a major blow, said Jaime Regalado, director of the Edmund G. ``Pat'' Brown Institute of Public Affairs
``It's a major blow, there's no question about it,'' Regalado said. ``It's a major initial blow.''
But the mayor could come out victorious, depending on the state Court of Appeal decision. And this defeat won't have long-term impacts for a mayor who many believe has gubernatorial aspirations, he said.
`` ... The fight is not over yet and he has a lot of political capital to burn,'' Regalado said. ``He didn't invest 100 percent of what he had in the vault "In the Vault" is a short story by American horror fiction writer H.P. Lovecraft, written on September 18, 1925 and first published in the November 1925 issue of the amateur press journal Tryout. .''
In fact, an appellate court A court having jurisdiction to review decisions of a trial-level or other lower court.
An unsuccessful party in a lawsuit must file an appeal with an appellate court in order to have the decision reviewed. could reach a completely different conclusion from Janavs', and it is that decision that would set a legal precedent, while Thursday's doesn't.
For his part, Schwarzenegger said he still backs the mayor's plan and supports an appeal of the court's decision.
``I strongly support Mayor Villaraigosa's efforts to put our children first,'' he said in a written statement. ``The status quo simply isn't working -- the current system is failing too many of our students.''
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. , D-Los Angeles, a co-author of the bill, said she still believes it's legal and should be appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, if necessary.
``I look forward to that,'' she said.
Change in plan
The state legislative counsel earlier this year issued an opinion questioning the measure's constitutionality. Concerned that a lawsuit might result in some parts of the bill being overturned while others remained, 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, had successfully pushed for the removal of a ``severability clause,'' a phrase that says if one part is overturned, the rest remains law. After that clause was added, Runner decided to put aside his misgivings about the bill and vote in favor of it.
But some legal experts said judges are free to use their own discretion on severability Severability
A clause in a contract that allows for the terms of the contract to be independent of one another, so that if a term in the contract is deemed unenforceable by a court, the contract as a whole will not be deemed unenforceable. , regardless of the presence of an enabling phrase.
Meanwhile Thursday, Villaraigosa said he received an additional $1 million for the cluster of schools he was poised to oversee. Deputy Mayor Ray Cortines would only say it came from a foundation that he'd like to keep anonymous. He collected $1 million from Verizon last week.
Villaraigosa also said he had spoken to Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, D-Los Angeles, and that they would move to audit the LAUSD to begin the process of determining how much money is being spent on bureaucracy.
Monica Garcia, the sole Villaraigosa supporter on the school board, said she hopes the ruling doesn't send the district the signal that what it has done so far is enough.
In fact, she said, she believes the district should move forward to implement demonstration schools, or clusters of lowest-performing schools, the mayor had proposed to oversee.
``I think this whole effort has encouraged a civic conversation that would not have happened otherwise,'' said Garcia, who added that she hasn't decided whether to support an appeal of the judge's ruling. ``The judge ruled in one way, but the work continues to need aggressive, bold, optimistic reform and leadership.''
While the mayor's detractors will certainly say he was much too ambitious with his plan and was bound to fail, there are plenty in the city who want change and back his plan, Regalado said.
``Most people feel something needs to change at LAUSD, and I think he'll be given plaudits by some, if not the majority of voters, for making the try, for expending capital and putting himself out there on the issues,'' he said. ``It does take a bit of his political capital away, but long-term injuries? Not yet.''
Staff Writer Harrison Sheppard in Sacramento contributed to this report.