Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa lobbied Gov. Jerry Brown this week to make it easier for the Los Angeles Unified School District to fire teachers, the Huffington Post reports. In a letter to Brown, Villaraigosa said that the district paid teacher accused of abuse $40,000 to leave the profession because the process of dismissing him was too onerous. He noted, also, that average dismissals cost the district $300,000. The teacher Villaraigosa referred to is former Miramonte Elementary School teacher Mark Berndt, who was charged of 23 acts of lewd conduct after hundreds of photos surfaced of him blindfolding and spoon-feeding a white substance to students…

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staff and wire services reports