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Roberti Changes Schools Bill to Comply With Rulings

May 14, 1993|MARK GLADSTONE

SACRAMENTO — State Sen. David A. Roberti (D-Van Nuys) on Thursday announced that he has revised his bill to break up the Los Angeles Unified School District to ensure compliance with two major court cases on desegregation and equal school funding.

Roberti's measure, which has been approved by the Senate Education Committee, would establish a commission to draft a plan to divide the huge district into smaller districts. The plan would be submitted to the voters.

Roberti is attempting to fine-tune the legislation to limit opposition from minority groups and gain the maximum number of votes in the Senate before it heads to the Assembly where it is expected to face an uphill fight. A similar proposal by Assemblywoman Paula L. Boland (R-Granada Hills) was shelved last month by the Assembly Education Committee.

The revised Roberti legislation would direct compliance with the federal Voting Rights Act to ensure that minority candidates and voters are not hurt in the drawing of voting districts. It would also allow transfers of students among the new school districts when needed.

In a prepared statement, Roberti cautioned: "If anybody wants an all-white school district, or disproportionate funding for predominantly white schools, or voting districts weighted in favor of white voters, they're going to be very disappointed."

Roberti said the amendments were suggested by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund but that the group continues to oppose his legislation.

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