The head of the Los Angeles school system has invoked a 2001 U.S. federal law for the first time in the city, allowing him to take over a high school designated as an underperformer years.

“It is my intention to make fundamental reforms, which will require every staff member including teachers, counselors, maintenance workers and others to reapply for their jobs,” said Ramon Cortines, the Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District on Tuesday, according to the L.A. Daily News.

Other cities, including New York and Chicago have previously invoked the law in attempts to turn around schools.

Fremont High School, located in South Los Angeles will be taken over on July 1, 2010, Cortines said. His authority to take action comes from the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, which allows for a takeover and restructuring of staff for schools designated as underperformers for more than five years.

Fremont has been designated an underperformer for the past 12 years, the district told the Daily News.

Fremont English teacher Mat Taylor, who is also a representative for the United Teachers Los Angeles union said the takeover tactic, known as “reconstitution,” will not work.

“The reason why Fremont isn’t as successful as it could be is the way Fremont has been run by the district and the issues of poverty. Reconstitution says it’s the teachers’ fault, and we completely reject that,” he told the Los Angeles Times.

Last updated 1:48 p.m.