Deasy Skirmish With Board Members a Long Time Coming
Hillel Aron | June 24, 2013
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Tensions are still simmering between a group of School Board members and Superintendent John Deasy following comments made by Deasy to LA School Report last week.
Three Board members — Bennett Kayser, Steve Zimmer and Dr. Richard Vladovic — sent Deasy a letter asking him to clarify his remarks.
The trio — who co-sponsored a resolution to hire more LAUSD employees and lower class sizes — are reported to have been particularly disturbed over Deasy’s derision of the proposal as a “directive to hire every human being on the West Coast.”
Deasy serves at the pleasure of the School Board; they can fire him at any time. Close observers of the School Board assume that Board members Kayser and Marguerite LaMotte — both allies of the teachers union — would vote to fire Deasy.
The votes of Board members Zimmer and Vladovic, meanwhile, are more difficult to predict. They would most likely vote to keep Deasy around, but also serve as a sort of hand brake against Deasy’s agenda. It is generally assumed that incoming Board member Monica Ratliff would do the same.
The recent spat is an especially public sign of tensions that have long existed between Deasy and some of the Board Members, whose job it is to set LAUSD policy. The Board sees itself as Deasy’s boss. But Deasy doesn’t always see his job that way, and has sought, at various times, to assert his autonomy.
Deasy may have not intended for his comments to appear in print. Neither he nor any of the Board members contacted about the letter has made its contents public, and t is unknown if Deasy has responded to the three Board members yet.
Curiously, the latest skirmish has yet to be covered by any of the major news outlets in Los Angeles.