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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

How the mayor bullied the school district to win control over a new Boyle Heights school

It sounds like a school yard scuffle between kids fighting over a new kick ball. But, in this case, the kids are Los Angeles schools Supt. Ramon Cortines and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. The object they fought over is a new $106 million Boyle Heights high school. A Los Angeles Times story over the district's plan to hand over control of 250 campuses to charter schools and other groups provides more details into how the mayor's Partnership for Los Angeles Schools walked away with the new Mendez Learning Center over the objections of Cortines:

"In an interview, Cortines said that he had opposed the hand-over but that school board President Monica Garcia, a Villaraigosa ally, had insisted on it. 'There was an end-run by the partnership,' the superintendent said. 'They found a way to . . . steal the school, and it's unfortunate.' Cortines said the new procedures for taking charge of a school would establish rules that neither the mayor nor anyone else could circumvent."

Related story:
* Not so fast: Union might challenge mayoral takeover of new Boyle Heights school. School Yard

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