School board President Marlene Canter sent a letter Friday to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, refusing his request for confidential information about candidates vying to become superintendent of Los Angeles Unified. Canter said while she was open to Villaraigosa playing some type of role in selecting a successor to retiring Superintendent Roy Romer, she would not reveal the identities of candidates to him or to the mayor of any other city that the LAUSD serves. “I understand and know he wants to be involved. But now the main job of the board is to protect the process. It’s been held confidential, and he knows as much as we know,” Canter said. “When you get to this type of search with national leaders who don’t want to reveal who they are, I just don’t understand how anyone can think once you give out the information to a large number of people it will remain confidential. Canter’s letter was in response to one that Villaraigosa sent Monday, the day Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Assembly Bill 1381, the education-reform law. In it, he asked for “modified” use of his new powers until the law takes effect Jan.1. The law gives the mayor a significant role in the district’s operation and in overseeing three clusters of low-performing schools, and it shifts a large amount of authority from the school board to the superintendent. Canter said she had made every effort to involve Villaraigosa in the selection process and closed the letter restating her commitment to continue involving him. “Our students will be best served by choosing a superintendent that both the board and our mayor can unite behind,” Canter wrote. “I again thank you for your interest in the process, and we will be in touch shortly. firstname.lastname@example.org (818) 713-3722160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe joys and headaches of holiday travel: John Phillips“I would like there to be a way for him to be involved; I just don’t know what that is.” Villaraigosa’s office responded that he was “deeply disappointed” by Canter’s refusal. “This letter is a bald rejection of Mayor Villaraigosa’s call for partnership in choosing the next superintendent. It further isolates the board of education from the broad and historic coalition of parents, teachers, business and community leaders who have come together to bring fundamental change to our schools,” said Janelle Erickson, the mayor’s spokeswoman. “It’s time for the board to end their obstructionist tactics, recognize the Legislature’s mandate and open the process. The mayor made a specific and reasonable proposal for inclusion in the spirit of the new law. The board responded with a disappointing and weakly worded denial.” A seven-member search committee composed of community leaders is interviewing candidates and will whittle down the list to three to five people “in the near future,” Canter said.