Villaraigosa

Mayor didn't get all he wanted **

The Associated Press story out of Sacramento bills this morning's agreement (earlier post) on the LAUSD as a compromise in which Mayor Villaraigosa gets a little control over the schools, but not a lot:

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa reached a compromise today with legislative leaders and teachers unions that would give him some authority over the Los Angeles Unified School District without handing him the outright control he had sought.

The deal, which follows two days of intense negotiations in the capital, gives the superintendent of the nation's second largest school district more power over personnel, business operations, budgeting and other areas. It also gives Villaraigosa a "central role" in selecting that superintendent.

The tentative deal, however, does not spell out who will be in control of the troubled district's budget, which essentially sets its educational priorities.

Villaraigosa said his plan was about accountability, not mayoral control.

"I knew this would be a tough road from the very beginning," he said during a Capitol news conference. "I knew it would not be easy. Change never is."

We'll see later how the other reporters play it. The LAT's School Me blog doesn't analyze the news. [Does now: School Me's take is that this is somehow a win for the mayor, as in Villaraigosa "charizmatized the dickens out of lawmakers and the teachers union."]

On radio: Patt Morrison is devoting the first half hour on KPCC at 2 pm to the compromise.

* 3pm updates: Early lede from the Daily News' Rick Orlov and Naush Boghossian:

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced today that he struck a compromise with the teachers union and state legislators giving him direct authority over the district's 36 lowest-performing schools and increasing his power over Los Angeles Unified's massive budget and hiring of a new superintendent.

In agreeing to the proposal, Villaraigosa dropped his efforts to gain total mayoral control and instead agreed to a form of shared leadership with the school board that will be limited to policy authority.

Aurelio Rojas in the Sacramento Bee:

The deal, which Villaraigosa resuscitated during two days of intense negotiations in the Capitol, came without the outright control of the schools he had sought. But it gives the former Assembly speaker and possible 2010 Democratic gubernatorial candidate a central role in selecting the superintendent of the nation's second largest school district. The superintendent -- and by extension, the mayor -- will have power over budgeting and business operations currently held by the district's school board.

Howard Fine on the L.A. Business Journal site. No staff report on LATimes.com that I can find.

** The LAT weighs in at 4:36 pm, with a triple byliner that begins:

After tough negotiations with powerful teachers unions, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa struck a compromise today that would give him significant sway over the troubled Los Angeles Unified School District but falls short of the total takeover he had sought.

Under the compromise, Villaraigosa would gain a major say in selecting the district's next superintendent. The seven-member school board, which the mayor has accused of micro-management, would lose management authority and would instead become what Villaraigosa called a "policy board."

Villaraigosa also would gain control over three clusters of low-performing schools.

Also this from the LAUSD powers-that-be:

At a midday press conference hastily arranged on a sweltering elementary school playground, the district's six elected school board members erupted with anger and frustration. Before a bank of the television cameras and reporters they rebuked the mayor and teachers union officials for cutting a deal that ignored the board, parent groups and several other unions that represent district employees.

"Mr. Mayor What is your grandiose plans for curing all the ills you profess?" said Julie Korenstein, who has served on the board for 19 years and has close ties to UTLA, her voice shaking. "Do you really care about the children of L.A. Unified? Are you going to experiment with 727,000 lives so you can be the next governor of California?"

"I didn't expect any less of Antonio," she added. "My shock and dismay is that L.A. Unified's teachers union, UTLA, joined hips with Antonio. I want to know what they expect out of this deal."

Commenter at Bill Bradley's New West Notes: "Antonio did it. Saved face and declared victory."


More by Kevin Roderick:
Standing up to Harvey Weinstein
The Media
LA Times gets a top editor with nothing but questions
LA Observed Notes: Harvey Weinstein stripped bare
LA Observed Notes: Photos of the homeless, photos that found homes
Recent Villaraigosa stories on LA Observed:
Villaraigosa marries in weekend ceremony in Mexico
DNC: Garcetti and Villaraigosa to speak
Villaraigosa acting more like a candidate
Villaraigosa to host Clinton funder in Beachwood Canyon home
Friday news and notes: Police, politics, water and more
Villaraigosa buys in Beachwood Canyon for $2.5 million
Villaraigosa opts out of Senate race -- and now it gets interesting
Villaraigosa's day and more politics notes
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