LAUSD board may wait for new member before electing president
Vanessa Romo | June 23, 2014
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In its final meeting of the 2013-14 fiscal year, the LA Unified school board may decide to break tradition by delaying the annual vote for board president.
Normally, board members elect a new leader for the coming year during a summer meeting prior to the start of the next academic year.
But the members may push back this year’s vote until after the Aug. 12 runoff to elect the new District 1 board member. As the top two vote-getters in a primary early this month, George McKenna and Alex Johnson are now competing in for the seat.
The vote for president would occur as soon as the winner is sworn in as a board member, giving District 1 full representation for the first time since last December, when Marguerite LaMotte died after a decade on the board.
Monica Garcia was behind the motion to delay the election to give the new member a vote in who will lead the board for the next year. Richard Vladovic, who is completing his first term, is expected to run — probably unopposed — for a second and final term. Presidents can serve only two consecutive years at a time before relinquishing the seat.
Chris Torres, Vladovic’s chief of staff, said Vladovic has no comment on the possibility that the board might delay the vote for president.
While many at last week’s meeting applauded the nod toward inclusiveness, the move would appear inconsistent with a board decision early this year to hold an election to fill the vacant seat, rather that appoint someone right away with voting rights.
Since LaMotte’s death, District 1 has had only a liaison to the board, not a voting representative, as the remaining six members shaped and approved major financial, instructional and administrative issues, including the final Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) and the final $7 billion budget for 2014-15, which goes before the members for a vote tomorrow.
District 1 residents had no say in any of the actions, apart from input provided by Sylvia Rousseau, the USC professor of education who served as the district liaison for several months as the election played out.
As for the final votes on the budget and the LCAP, it’s not entirely clear whether they will go smoothly. Certain members have certain priorities that they want fully funded, and they might perceive Superintendent John Deasy‘s proposals as falling short. Deasy needs four votes for approval. Whether he gets them may depend on how firm the members hold to their priorities.
Previous Posts: LAUSD candidates McKenna, Johnson set for election runoff; Marguerite LaMotte, Long-Serving Member of LA Unified School Board, Dies, at 80; Rousseau’s LAUSD legacy, a push for standard English learning