Vladovic or Zimmer Likely Pick for School Board President
Hillel Aron | July 1, 2013
There hasn’t been as much chatter as might be expected on the eve of a School Board vote on who will be the next President, but the most likely candidates to replace Board member Monica Garcia are Board members Richard Vladovic or Steve Zimmer.
To understand how the race likely narrows down to these two, it’s important to understand the shifting dynamics surrounding the School Board for 2013-14:
Starting tomorrow, the overall balance of power on the Board will change from those generally loyal to Mayor Villaraigosa and in support of Superintendent John Deasy to those who are thought of to be somewhat independent and those closely allied with a teachers union strongly opposed to the Villaraigosa / Deasy.agenda.
For 2013-2015, there are two remaining “reform” advocates (Tamar Galatzan and Monica Garcia), two members whose ideology is in generally line with the teachers union (Bennett Kayser and Marguerite LaMotte), and three somewhat independent members (Steve Zimmer, Dr. Richard Vladovic and the newly elected Monica Ratliff).
Since the majority rests with the independents and union allies, the assumption is that the top job will go to either Steve Zimmer or Dr. Richard Vladovic, with Vladovic the slight favorite since (a) he seems to want the job more and (b) the teachers union has, reportedly, signaled its support for him.
In a dramatic twist on Wednesday night, the Daily News reported that Vladovic is under investigation for harassing employees. However, we know very little about the seriousness of the investigation — general counsel David Holmquist wouldn’t even confirm that there is an investigation. And we don’t know if the School Board is going to take the accusations into consideration when they vote tomorrow.
Other factors may be at play as well, including the new Mayor, Eric Garcetti, who has publicly stated that he’s a fan of Steve Zimmer. Zimmer has said that he wants to be President but only if the vote is unanimous. While that doesn’t seem likely given the divided nature of the Board, you could imagine a scenario where, behind the scenes, Zimmer gets four votes and the other two members either abstain or fall into line in order to preserve a veneer of agreement.
One source told LA School Report that Monica Ratliff is the front-runner for the job of Vice-President.
The meeting is scheduled for 10 AM tomorrow morning.