Garcia re-elected L.A. Unified School board president

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The Los Angeles Unified school board re-elected president Monica Garcia today to a fourth term as its president.

Garcia won all but one vote. In an acceptance speech, she said that in spite of large budget cuts she’d continue to push for decentralization. She described her approach to improving schools as, "created on the ground, by innovators in our community, on the school sites and always accountable to our parents."

L.A. Unified is in the process of transferring administration of many new and low-performing schools to teacher-led groups and nonprofit organizations such as charter school companies.

Improvement, Garcia said, starts with people directly involved in schools. "Students, we call on you to come to school every day and do your best. Parents, we call on you to increase your student's attendance and your own engagement in our schools."

Garcia urged her colleagues to unite behind improvement efforts and she praised the work of Superintendent Ramon Cortines, who was hired by Garcia and other board members. "We call on you to stay and work a little faster," she said.

Board member Margueritte Poindexter LaMotte, the only member to vote against Garcia, urged her to limit the influence of L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in school district policy-making.