Re­form LAUSD, or pay more

Los Angeles Times - - OPINION -

Re “LAUSD chief aims to re­shape sys­tem,” Nov. 6

Re­port­ing on the pro­posed re­or­ga­ni­za­tion of the Los An­ge­les Uni­fied School Dis­trict re­flects the fact that the dis­trict must trans­form so it can meet its fun­da­men­tal obli­ga­tions to Los An­ge­les’ chil­dren and the pub­lic at large.

The new LAUSD ad­min­is­tra­tion must put its fis­cal house in or­der or risk hav­ing to ask tax­pay­ers for more money in ex­change for dras­tic re­forms. It is a fact that LAUSD stake­hold­ers — in­clud­ing the Los An­ge­les County Of­fice of Ed­u­ca­tion, the Cal­i­for­nia Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion and oth­ers — ac­knowl­edge the dis­trict is on poor fis­cal foot­ing. Fur­ther, par­ents and fam­i­lies are speak­ing with their feet af­ter years of missed op­por­tu­ni­ties by ex­plor­ing other school dis­tricts and plac­ing their chil­dren in pub­lic char­ter schools.

Now, for the first time in re­cent mem­ory, this com­pli­cated in­sti­tu­tion has a chance for real change that ben­e­fits stu­dents, fam­i­lies, com­mu­ni­ties and its own per­son­nel. The chil­dren and fam­i­lies of LAUSD de­serve at least that much.

Alex John­son

Los An­ge­les

The writer is a mem­ber of the Los An­ge­les County Board of Ed­u­ca­tion.

As a for­mer teacher and ad­min­is­tra­tor, re­tired af­ter 35 years with LAUSD, I can only say this lat­est plan to di­vide the dis­trict into 32 “net­works” cer­tainly sounds like re­ar­rang­ing the deck chairs on the Ti­tanic — again.

Over my years in the dis­trict our lead­ers ex­per­i­mented with areas, re­gions, di­vi­sions and more. None made any real dif­fer­ence or lasted long enough to see if there could be an ef­fect. Each was passed off as a way to im­prove in­struc­tion.

Per­haps the dis­trict should lis­ten to teach­ers and re­duce class size. Along with more school nurses, psy­chol­o­gists, and li­brar­i­ans, that could bet­ter bridge the achieve­ment gap that now ex­ists.

Doris Dent


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