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Future of Deasy moves behind closed doors in board meeting

Vanessa Romo | September 30, 2014

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John Deasy

Superintendent John Deasy

Drama tonight. Or maybe not.

The LA Unified school board is convening a two-part session at 4 p.m. today — one open, the other closed, with Superintendent John Deasy the prime subject of conversation in the closed session.

Members have confirmed that they are using their privacy to determine what parameters to consider when Deasy comes up for his annual performance review in three weeks. That’s the headline for now, anyway. In fact, the board could do anything when it shuts out the public. The members could even vote to fire him — as they can at any time — although it’s not expected.

One certainty, as of this morning: Deasy confirmed he has not been invited to attend. He could if he wanted to but it’s unlikely.

At any rate, the closed session is expected to go long into the night, with each member getting a chance to vent on Deasy. They’ll reappear in public to announce any votes taken, then call for an official adjournment.

No major theatrics are anticipated in the open session.

The only vote scheduled is to certify that all schools have sufficient textbooks and instructional materials for all students in the core and required curriculum areas.

One resolution for introduction deals with creating a task force to study the implications of deleting emails, including the possibility they may be needed for litigation or to fulfill Public Records Act requests. The sponsors are unlikely allies: Board Members Tamar Galatzan, Monica Ratliff and Bennett Kayser have banded together to have the task force in place by the end of October to review the district’s Records Retention and Destruction Policy and report recommendations in January.

“I am glad to support this effort to bring greater transparency to LAUSD and am eager to learn what other government agencies and school districts do with their emails,” Kayser told LA School Report.

Two other motions are aimed at making schools safer. One by Monica Garcia, George McKenna and President Richard Vladovic supports Proposition 47, which would reduce the classification of most “non-serious and nonviolent property and drug crimes” from a felony to a misdemeanor. A change in the law could “potentially directs hundreds of millions of dollars in savings from reduced prison costs to K-12 schools, mental health and drug treatment, and victim services,” they write in the resolution.

The second, drafted by Ratliff and Galatzan would recognize the week of Oct.19 – 25 as America’s Safe Schools Week.

Finally, Ratliff wants to make it easier to report fraud to the Office of the Inspector General by putting a “Hotline” button on the district’s homepage.

Previous Posts: Two groups urging LAUSD board to be objective, transparent; LAUSD keeps no written records of Deasy performance reviews; Closed LAUSD board session grew out of request by Ratliff

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