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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