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Villaraigosa supports opening up L.A. Unified schools to outside operators

August 24, 2009 |  1:48 pm

Villar Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa voiced his support this morning for an expanded version of a controversial resolution that would allow charter school operators and other groups to apply to run city school district campuses.

The Los Angeles Unified School District board is scheduled to vote tomorrow afternoon on the resolution, which would allow independent groups, including charters and an education group overseen by the mayor, to apply to take over campuses. The resolution originally only targeted 50 schools scheduled to open over the next several years but was amended to include an additional 200 underperforming campuses.

Many unions and some board members and other elected officials have voiced their concern with aspects of the resolution, saying that it could create a stratified education system that may not serve low-income students. Union leaders also complained that they had been left out of the process of creating the resolution.

But Villaraigosa said the resolution offers the district the best chance to reform by giving parents and educators a choice.

“The solution to every problem we face ... starts in the classroom,” Villaraigosa said.

Two school board members have crafted amendments to the resolution, written by Yolie Flores Aguilar and signed by two other members of the seven-member board, to make it more acceptable to critics.

-- Jason Song, reporting from City Hall

Photo: Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa talks last week about school test scores. Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times