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LAUSD to Halve Number of Local Districts

The Los Angeles Unified School District will cut its administrative local districts from eight to four. Meanwhile, the elected school board districts are up for redistricting in a process conducted once every ten years to reflect changes in population

The Los Angeles Unified School District, the second biggest in the nation, is broken up into eight local districts for administrative purposes. These local districts were put in place to make the sprawling bureaucracy of LAUSD more sensitive to local differences and responsive to principals and parents.

Now, however, in yet another round of budget cutting, LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy has announced a plan to reduce the local districts from eight to four, “geographic local education service centers” plus one more serving schools from across the city, beginning in the 2012-2013 school year.

According to an LAUSD press release, the plan will cut 64 administrative jobs and save $6.4 million annually.

“This plan will enable the District to save money in the midst of a devastating budget
crisis; but more importantly, it will allow us to target our service to the core of our work—
improving instruction,” said Jaime Aquino, deputy superintendent of instruction, in the press release.

How fewer local districts will be more responsive to local needs was not clearly articulated in the release. Calls to LAUSD and to school board member, Steve Zimmer’s office were not returned.

At the same time, the elected school board is also in the midst of a redistricting process. Every ten years, LAUSD is required to reconfigure the school board’s districts to reflect changes in population as measured by the census. These school board districts, each of which elects one representative to the board, are different than the “local districts” created by LAUSD for administrative purposes.

Mar Vista is part of School Board District 4, currently represented by Steve Zimmer and part of Local District 3 for administration, which has its own Local District Supervisior, Dr. Brenda Manuel.

A commission has been established to provide recommendations on new school board district boundaries. Public hearings are being held to get citizen input on these proposed changes, including a meeting last night at Bernstetin High School in Hollywood.

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Kelly Kane February 17, 2012 at 08:44 PM
Unfortunately, LAUSD can not see the forest for the trees. All that they will accomplish by reducing the number of local districts is push the existing high paid administrators down the food chain. They will "take" the existing school administrators' jobs, who, in turn will "take" the lower paid teachers' jobs (but at their current pay rate - which is what their unions allow them to do - with seniority). In effect, you will have high paid administrators doing jobs they don't want to do at higher than normal pay. This will cut out all the new and energetic teachers (because they have no seniority) who weren't being paid much any way. Everyone knows that LAUSD needs a major reform. How about we really start from the top. Sell the Beaudry Building. Co-locate the remaining bare-bones skeletal LAUSD staff in underpopulated high schools (where they can actually SEE what's going on) and let the feeder patterns develop their own governing councils (mini-school boards for K-12 in each area). Oh, and get the unions to agree that when someone is "displaced" they don't get paid until they find another job. That would be true reform.

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