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Board: Vladovic the Frontrunner for President

Hillel Aron | June 12, 2013

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VladovicDr. Richard Vladovic (pictured) is the front-runner to become the next President of the LAUSD School Board, according to several School Board insiders and observers.

Though he or his office did not respond to repeated requests for comment, Vladovic is said to covet the job.

Moreover, he has the support of the teachers union and has been telling people he has at least the four votes needed to elect him.

Vladovic is presumably supported by frequent Board allies Marguerite LaMotte and Bennett Kayser. The fourth vote could come from either Steve Zimmer or incoming Board member Monica Ratliff.

However, there are a few other Board members with a conceivable shot at the job, and the preferences of Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti may play a role in the ultimate decision.

The School Board President doesn’t directly control what items get on the agenda, but he or she can control the order and the speed of Board meetings. And while Superintendent Deasy claims to be unconcerned with who the next President is, the he or she could certainly slow down Deasy’s agenda, if not alter it altogether.

Board President Monica Garcia, who was seen as Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s strongest ally on the Board, has held the post for six years — longer than any president in recent memory.

Garcia will step down from the role in July, thanks to a 4-3 March vote by the Board to limit the presidency to two consecutive one-year terms.

Vladovic represents District 7, which covers San Pedro, Harbor Gateway and parts of South LA. A former teacher, principal and Superintendent of West Covina School District, Vladovic is as prickly as he is inscrutable. He has never responded to a request for comment from LA School Report.

According to multiple sources, UTLA is pushing for a Vladovic presidency. When asked to comment, UTLA President Warren Fletcher said in an emailed statement, “We have always respected the School Board’s internal process.”

Zimmer has reportedly told several people that he wanted to be President but “only if [the vote] were unanimous” — a condition that sounds improbable given the divided nature of the Board.

(In a February guest commentary on this site, Unai Montes-Irueste speculated that Board member Zimmer had evolved his positions over time in order to increase his chances to of becoming Board President.)

Tamar Galatzan still has a shot at the post, although she would need to pick up two votes from either Vladovic, Zimmer, Ratliff, Kayser or LaMotte.

One last variable that could change the political chemistry of the Board is Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti, who was recently photographed with Superintendent John Deasy on Friday and is said to have met with Ratliff.

While his specific preference is not known, a number of sources have said that Garcetti is taking an active interest in who the next Board president is going to be.

The School Board will pick its new president on July 2, just after Ratliff is sworn in. It will be the last Board meeting until late August.

Previous posts: Who Will Be the Next School Board President?Deasy in Danger? It Might Depend on VladovicDeasy & Allies Prevail at May Board Meeting

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