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LAUSD turns over control of schools to outside groups

February 23, 2010 |  6:19 pm

The Los Angeles Board of Education voted Tuesday to turn over control of 18 new schools and 12 troubled ones to groups of teachers and administrators, charter groups and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s nonprofit organization.

The big winners were the teacher-led groups, who claimed the vast majority of the schools, including some that were expected to go to charter schools.

The move came after nearly 50 speakers appealed to the board for their various constituencies and others demonstrated outside the downtown Los Angeles Unified School District headquarters.

Bidders inside and outside the district have been vying for the schools under a reform plan that the board adopted in August.

The main competitors have been groups of district teachers and charter school operators. Charters are independently run schools that are free from some restrictions that govern traditional schools.

In the end, charters claimed only four new small schools, one of which would be shared with a district school run by an employee-led group.

Another competitor has been Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who seeks to increase the number of schools under the control of his education nonprofit.

Villaraigosa will now control one new school, Carver Middle School in South Park, and Griffith Joyner Elementary in Watts. For the last school, he had to rely on a decision of the school board, which overruled L.A. schools Supt. Ramon C. Cortines.

-- Howard Blume

Photo: Sgt. George Sandoval, of the Los Angeles School Police, explains the ticketing and seating procedures for Tuesday's meeting to teachers and supporters waiting outside district headquarters. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times