Just 10 days before it was to take effect, a state judge on Thursday overturned the law that gave Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa more control over the Los Angeles Unified School District.
In her ruling, Superior Court Judge Dzintra Janavs said that by passing the law this summer, the state Legislature overstepped its bounds in allowing a council of mayors to run the school district and granting the mayor of Los Angeles the power to run three schools on his own.
The lawsuit was filed Oct. 10 by a coalition of district parents, students, administrators and the League of Women Voters.
Villaraigosa and school district officials scheduled news conferences Thursday afternoon to discuss the ruling. Villaraigosa and Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, a law supporter, were expected to announce their intention to appeal the ruling.
The law had garnered support from several major business organizations including the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce that have been dismayed over the quality of LAUSD schools, which educate the most local workers.
"We are disappointed about the ruling, but we are not disappointed about the public discussion around education that this mayor's leadership has initiated," said Chamber Chief Executive Gary Toebben in response to the ruling. "We urge the mayor, superintendent and school board to bring all the resources of the community together for the benefit of our children."
Other business organizations, such as the Valley Industry and Commerce Association (VICA) have criticized the law for not going far enough. VICA Chairman Robert Scott said the ruling should not slow the pace of district reform.
"In light of today's ruling, VICA remains committed to working with all officeholders towards meaningful reforms at LAUSD," Scott said. "To VICA, smaller school districts are still the best option, but we support the mayor's efforts to play a wider role at LAUSD."
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