NSBA Urges Los Angeles Mayor to Back Away from Proposal to Takeover Schools
Alexandria, VA – June 26 - In a letter to the Los Angeles Times today, National School Boards Association President E. Jane Gallucci says that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s proposal to takeover the Los Angeles school system will fragment the responsibility and accountability for student achievement, which should ultimately rest with the school board and superintendent.
Rather than playing education wizards, mayors "should refocus their energies on other critical issues that impact student success. . . [and] should ensure safe neighborhoods for families, access to health care for students, and address high housing costs that deter recruitment of quality teachers," Gallucci wrote in her letter.
In April, NSBA's governing body approved a resolution calling for mayors to back away from taking over school districts and concentrate on issues outside the schoolyards that impact student learning.
"Mayor Villaraigosa needs to work with the elected school board, not against them, in delivering a high quality education to every one of the 727,000 students who attend the Los Angeles Public Schools," said Gallucci. "His proposal does nothing but ensure confusion and distraction to a system that is starting to see real indicators of student success."
"Mayors and school boards throughout this country are seeing the power of working together toward the goal of high performing school systems that focus on the success of each child," Gallucci wrote. "One shining example of mayoral-school board cooperation can be found in Pinellas County, Florida, the nation's 22nd largest school district serving 24 cities throughout the county." Gallucci is a school board member in that county.
Founded in 1940, the National School Boards Association is a not-for profit federation of state associations of school boards representing 95,000 local school board members throughout the United States. Its mission is to foster excellence and equity in public elementary and secondary education through local school board leadership. NSBA represents the school board perspective in working with federal government agencies and national organizations that impact education, and provides vital information and services to state associations of school boards throughout the nation.