L.A. Mayor has little involvement in education

Jason Gallaher

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After eight years as mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa’s time will end on May 21 when Los Angeles voters elect a new mayor for a four year term.

For many CSUN students, this will be the first time they are able to elect a mayor.

Oscar Mendoza, senior biology major, said a lot of college students don’t know enough about the office of Mayor of Los Angeles to vote.

The mayor of L.A. has a similar relationship to the executive branch and legislative branch of federal government. The mayor serves as the executive and the Los Angeles City Council as the legislative. The mayor has the authority to appoint and remove city officials, as well as propose a budget for the city.

Tom Hogen-Esch, poltical science professor who has studied L.A. politics for more than 20 years, said that Angelenos are typically unaware of how little authority the mayor has, especially when it comes to education.

“Mayors don’t govern education at all,” Hogen-Esch said. “This is one of
the fundamental misunderstandings L.A. natives have of the role of the
mayor.”

Villaraigosa attempted to have a more formal role in the
school system, but it was deemed unconstitutional as the city government
and schools are legally kept separate. Schools are operated through the Los Angeles Unified School District.