A leading San Fernando Valley business group voted Tuesday to oppose L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's compromise plan to reform the Los Angeles Unified School District.


The board of the Valley Industry and Commerce Association voted unanimously against the deal Villaraigosa struck last month with United Teachers Los Angeles and state legislators to change the governance of the School District.


VICA board members said they were favorably inclined towards Villaraigosa's original plan to have the L.A. mayor assume control of the district. They believe the compromise legislation blurred lines of accountability and doesn't go far enough.


"Today's vote was not a rebuke of Mayor Villaraigosa. We share the mayor's ultimate goal to fix our schools and improve classroom education. However, we feel the compromise set forth in AB 1381 falls short of what's required to effect real change," said Greg Lippe, VICA's state issues chairman.


In a letter to Villaraigosa accompanying the announcement of the vote, VICA board members said they believed that the proposed Council of Mayors in the compromise plan would not increase accountability. "LAUSD needs fewer decision makers, not more," they wrote in the letter. They also objected to the removal of any public vote over reform of the district.


The Valley Industry and Commerce Association has previously called for the breakup of the mammoth School District into several smaller districts and had supported legislation to that effect from state Assemblyman Keith Richman, R-Granada Hills. However, that legislation stalled in committee as teachers and school district officials lobbied against it.


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