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MAYOR VILLARAIGOSA, COMMUNITY LEADERS STAND TOGETHER TO ENDORSE SCHOOL CHOICE MOTION Encourages School Board to Pass Motion to Implement Reform in Los Angeles' Public Schools LOS ANGELES - Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and representatives from the business, civil rights and education communities endorsed today the School Choice Motion currently before the Los Angeles Board of Education and urged the board to pass it tomorrow. "Education is the civil rights issue of our time," said Mayor Villaraigosa. "This motion is an opportunity for the school board to forge a new path towards truly reforming our schools and I urge them to pass it. It is well past the time for making decisions based on what is good for adults. We have to start making decisions on what is best for our children." The motion, which the school board will vote on during its meeting tomorrow, allows for innovative school operators - like public charters schools, teacher collaboratives, or successful district schools - to be able to submit a plan for running the schools. These plans would be based on real data and set real benchmarks and metrics for progress and achievement, and whoever has the best plan for educating the children gets to run the school. "There is no defense for the status quo," said Marqueece Harris Dawson of the Community Coalition. "We are failing our kids and they deserve better. They are the key to our future and we have to make sure they are getting a quality- education that will prepare them for life. That's what this plan suggests and that's real change." Other leaders supporting the motion include:Â - Maria Brenes, Inner City Struggle - Judy Burton, Alliance for College Ready Public Schools - Marqueece Harris Dawson, The Community CoalitionÂ -Â Reverend Eric Lee, Southern Christian Leadership Coalition - Gary Mangiofico, Los Angeles Universal Preschool - Veronica Melvin, Alliance for Better Communities - Carlos Vaquerano, SALEF - Arturo Ybarra, Watts Century Latino Organization