Big agenda for LAUSD board: search process, finances, charters
Mike Szymanski | November 9, 2015
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In what looks to be a marathon LAUSD school board meeting tomorrow, members are scheduled to hear a detailed report on community input for the superintendent search, an analysis of a district finances conducted by non-district analysts and a number of proposals involving charter schools.
At the open session at 10 a.m., the board will hear a presentation from the search firm Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, analyzing feedback from community meetings and surveys.
The search firm also plans to detail how many people participated in the superintendent search input meetings, and the general qualities they found were important to some people. The firm has also created a Leadership Profile to help the board identify suitable candidates.
In the afternoon session, beginning 1 p.m., the Independent Financial Review Panel will present its findings about a dire budgetary future for the district. The panel of well-respected experts recommend some bold steps in order to keep the district’s financial stability in the “Report of the Independent Financial Review Panel.”
Charters, as always, will be another major issue — in a variety of forms.
Board member Scott Schmerelson is proposing a measure that puts the board on record as formally opposing the Broad Foundation to expand the number of charters in the district — although it stops short of suggesting what, if anything, the board can do to stop it.
Also up for discussion are the staff-recommended approval and five-year renewals of 16 charter schools and the denial of two charters. The denials are for Celerity Himalia Charter School in south Los Angeles and Celerity Rolas Charter School in northeast Los Angeles.
Asking for transparency among charter schools, board member, Mónica Ratliff is proposing that the charter management organizations and schools be more open with the parents and teachers. Her proposal asks that the charters let stakeholders know in writing within 72 hours of violations and possible non-renewal of their charter license, as well as accessibility to food nutrition content, staff pay scale, teacher credential status and compliance with the Brown Act, which requires more openness at meetings.
Ref Rodriguez and Schmerelson plan to recommend creating a collaborative to focus on the middle grades. The idea is to focus on 6th and 8th grades to stop chronic absenteeism, dropout rates and possible risky behavior. The panel put together would consist of at least one parent and one student as well as representatives from staff and unions.
The board members will also be asked to issue bonds for $900 million of construction and modernization of schools. It amends the master resolution that the district approved in April.