LOS ANGELES, Calif.–Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will be joined today by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, N.J., in a discussion at the Los Angeles Convention Center on the challenges of urban education reform.

Villaraigosa will also be honored at the United Way of Greater Los Angeles’ 2013 Education Summit for championing education reform. Although the mayor of Los Angeles has no formal role in education, Villaraigosa has made education one of his priorities since taking office in 2005.

The summit will also include a panel discussion on improving schools with the five leading candidates seeking to succeed Villaraigosa–city council members Eric Garcetti and Jan Perry, Controller Wendy Greuel, former talk show host and prosecutor Kevin James and former technology executive Emanuel Alberto Pleitez.

The candidates will discuss teacher evaluations, school choice, budget cuts, the relationship between the Los Angeles Unified School District and United Teachers Los Angeles, the union representing the district’s teachers, and parents’ roles in education, according to Jason Mandell of United Way of Greater Los Angeles.

The summit will also include two sessions with key education, business and community leaders about improving education in high-poverty areas, Mandell said.