Los Angeles Unified School District, California
|Los Angeles Unified School District|
|Los Angeles County, California|
|Superintendent:||Ramon C. Cortines|
|Number of schools:||1,177|
|Website:||School Home Page|
|Board of Education|
|Board president:||Richard Vladovic|
- 1 About the district
- 2 Superintendent
- 3 School board
- 4 Budget
- 5 Teacher salaries
- 6 Schools in Los Angeles Unified School District
- 7 Academic performance
- 8 Issues
- 9 Contact information
- 10 See also
- 11 External links
- 12 References
The Los Angeles Unified Schools District has experienced a number of conflicts during the 2014-2015 school year, including a federal investigation into a new iPad program and the resignation of the superintendent.
About the district
Los Angeles Unified School District is located in Los Angeles County, California. The county seat of Los Angeles County is Los Angeles. Los Angeles County was home to 10,017,068 residents in 2013, according to the United States Census Bureau.
Higher education achievement
Los Angeles County underperformed in comparison to the rest of California in terms of higher education achievement in 2012. The United States Census Bureau found that 29.5 percent of Los Angeles County residents aged 25 years and older had attained a bachelor's degree compared to 30.5 percent for California as a whole.
Median household income
The median household income for Los Angeles County was $56,241 compared to $61,400 for the entire state.
The percentage of people living below the poverty level in Los Angeles County was 17.1 percent while it was 15.3 percent for the state of California.
Racial and political demographics
Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one or two tenths off from being exactly 100 percent.
Ramon C. Cortines is the superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District. He is serving on an interim basis until a replacement for former superintendent Dr. John Deasy is found. A former superintendent of the district, Cortines retired in 2011 when Deasy took over the position as superintendent. The 82-year-old said he hopes to renew a sense of teamwork within the district and to investigate a number of technological problems the district had in the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year. Cortines previously served in administrative roles in school districts in New York City, San Francisco, Pasadena and San Jose. He also served as special advisor to former U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley.
The Los Angeles Unified Board of Education consists of seven members elected to four-year terms by geographic districts.
|Los Angeles Unified Board of Education|
School board elections
Members of the Los Angeles Unified Board of Education are elected to four-year terms on a staggered basis every odd-numbered year. Seats from Districts 2, 4 and 6 were up for election in 2013, and seats from Districts 1, 3, 5 and 7 will be up for election in 2015.
Public participation in board meetings
The Los Angeles Unified Board of Education maintains the following policy on public testimony during board meetings:
—Los Angeles Unified School District website, (2014), 
The table below displays the budget for Los Angeles Unified School District:
|Expenditures by Category|
|School Year||Staff Expenses||Student Services||Operational Expenses||Debt Service||Other||Budget Total|
|Total||% of Budget||Total||% of Budget||Total||% of Budget||Total||% of Budget||Total||% of Budget|
Los Angeles Unified School District employed 32,713 teachers in the 2011-2012 school year. Teacher salaries are categorized based on higher education achievement, professional development and years of service. A teacher with a bachelor's degree can earn higher salaries by pursuing graduate courses with raises at credit intervals. The table below shows the salary schedule for teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District for the 2014-2015 school year.
|Degree level||Minimum salary ($)||Maximum salary ($)|
|B.A. + 14||45,692||54,709|
|B.A. + 28||46,178||57,552|
|B.A. + 42||46,232||60,601|
|B.A. + 56||46,719||63,553|
|B.A. + 70||46,794||66,570|
|B.A. + 84||48,600||69,521|
|B.A. + 98||49,681||73,900|
Teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District are represented by United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA). Leadership of the UTLA includes chapter chairs from each school site in the district, seven city-wide officers that conduct the union's regular business, a 350-member House of Representatives that determines the union's direction and a 50-member board of directors that carries out any mandates from the UTLA House of Representatives.
Schools in Los Angeles Unified School District
Los Angeles Unified School District served 653,826 students during the 2013-2014 school year. Enrollment in the district decreased by 2.6 percent from 2009 to 2013.
|Year||Enrollment||Year-to-year change (%)|
The Los Angeles Unified School District operates 1,177 schools. A list of those schools can be found here.
California STAR program
California's Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) program, which includes the California Standards Tests, the California Modified Assessment and the California Alternate Performance Assessment, measures student achievement in grades two through 11 for California's academic content standards. STAR results include English-language arts and mathematics in grades two through 11, science in grades five and eight through 11 and history and social science in grades eight, 10 and 11. In high school, math and science tests reflect the course in which the student is enrolled.
There are five STAR performance benchmarks to indicate a student's academic proficiency. "Proficient" or "Advanced" indicates that a student is meeting or exceeding state standards. The table below shows the percentage of students in the district who scored proficient or advanced during the 2012-2013 school year.
|STAR Results, % of Proficient/Advanced Students, 2012-2013|
|Subject||District (%)||State average (%)|
|History and Social Science||40||49|
LAUSD teacher evaluation system to be repealed
Los Angeles Unified School District was ordered to partially repeal its teacher evaluation system by California’s Public Employment Review Board less than two years after it was implemented. The element of the evaluation system at issue tied teacher pay to student performance, which United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) called unfair since student performance can be widely influenced by factors outside of the classroom.
Implemented in March 2013 and championed by former superintendent John Deasy, LAUSD's teacher evaluation system included observations that UTLA had not consented to. The union filed a complaint with the Public Employment Review Board in 2013, claiming the district had unilaterally imposed the evaluation system without allowing teachers the chance to negotiate it. On December 24, 2014, the review board found that the observation portion of the evaluation system violated state law. The review board ruled that the district restore the "status quo" and pay back the teachers who had lost payment due to the evaluation system with an addition of 7 percent interest each year.
The district has until February 22, 2015, to appeal the decision. If the district decides to appeal and loses, it could also contest at the state court level.
District fires lawyer one year after winning sex abuse case
In November 2013, attorney W. Keith Wyatt won a civil lawsuit case for the Los Angeles Unified School District by arguing that the district had no knowledge of a relationship between a 14-year-old middle school student and her 28-year-old math teacher. He also argued that the student was old enough to consent to having sex with her teacher and bore some responsibility in what happened. One year later, the student is appealing the decision, and the district has dropped Wyatt after he made remarks alleging it was more dangerous to cross the street than to have sex with a teacher.
With Wyatt's remarks, more details about the case came to light. The district had been in the hot seat to determine whether or not it was at fault for allowing the relationship between student and teacher to continue for months. For their defensive strategy, the district's lawyers had presented the student's sexual history to the court as evidence, and Wyatt had claimed in his closing arguments that she had pursued the case for financial reasons alone. Because it was a civil trial, rather than a criminal trial, such claims were allowed, and the district was cleared from any responsibility.
In July 2011, Elkis Hermida, the teacher involved with the student, had been sentenced to three years in state prison for lewd acts against a child. In that trial, the age of consent was firmly established at 18, meaning the student did not have the ability to consent. In civil cases, however, that line is less firm due to two appellate court rulings that maintained it was possible to argue a minor can consent to have sex with an adult.
Neither the superintendent nor the school board of Los Angeles Unified School District commented on the district's decision to drop Wyatt. Dave Holmquist, the district's general counsel, called Wyatt's comments "inappropriate" and said they undermined "the spirit of the environment we strive to offer our students every day." Though Wyatt did issue a formal apology for his remarks, he did not comment on the district's action to remove him.
Dr. John Deasy resigned from his position as superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District on October 15, 2014, after serving the district for three and a half years. The resignation was tendered in a joint statement from Deasy and the Los Angeles Unified Board of Education. Former superintendent Ramon C. Cortines returned to lead the district on an interim basis until a replacement for Deasy is found. Deasy stayed with the district on "special assignment" until December 31, 2014.
Under Deasy's leadership, student test scores and graduation rates improved while suspension rates and dropout rates declined. Despite these improvements to the district, Deasy had an uneasy relationship with United Teachers Los Angeles, the district's teachers union. The union's president Alex Caputo-Pearl said Deasy pushed for too many programs, such as a $1 billion iPad program, the restructuring of struggling schools and the introduction of a student tracking software that ended up being defective, without consideration for educators.
In his letter of resignation, Deasy highlighted the district's improvements under his leadership, including graduation rates, tests scores, attendance rates, suspensions, safety and the number of students taking advanced placement classes. Though he said he was very proud the district stayed focused on its goal to "lift youth out of poverty," he also said serving as superintendent had been "exhausting work" and that he was happy to hand it over to the next leader. Deasy's full letter of resignation can be found here.
Technology programs investigated
Former Los Angeles Unified School District superintendent John Deasy came under fire in the summer of 2014 over a program to give out 700,000 iPads to students and teachers in the district. The $1.3 billion program was suspended before all the iPads could be distributed, and circumstances surrounding the contract negotiations led to a federal grand jury investigation.
Critics had argued that the iPad program was too expensive and rushed before it was implemented, but more serious complaints started when it was revealed that Deasy had met and communicated with Apple and Pearson before open bidding for the program began in 2013. Questions arose over whether or not the program had been rigged and if Deasy had helped the two companies win the bidding process, which could have stifled competition and cost both the district and taxpayers millions of dollars. Though Deasy halted the program to address the concerns and restart the bidding process, many in the district, including United Teachers Los Angeles, called for an investigation into the matter.
Before the iPad program could be resolved, another technological program caused more problems for the district. The automated scheduling and attendance recording system MiSiS caused delayed registration at the start of the 2014-2015 school year. The problems resulted in a judge ordering state officials to review the program. The Los Angeles Unified Board of Education approved a $1.1 million plan to follow through on that order and hired a third-party observer to review the system.
Though an investigation into the district's iPad program was started, Deasy resigned in October 2014, before things were resolved. In his joint letter of resignation with the Los Angeles Unified Board of Education, the board said they did not believe Deasy had engaged in any ethical violations or unlawful acts. In the weeks leading up to his resignation, the board's lawyers negotiated a separation agreement with Deasy's lawyers.
The investigation into the iPad program led to a federal grand jury subpoena asking for documents related to the bidding process for the program as well as any documents related to the winning bidders, including former contracts and other projects. The FBI's office of public corruption seized the documents on December 1, 2014. On December 2, 2014, interim superintendent Ramon C. Cortines followed through on Deasy's original suspension of the iPad program, officially canceling it. He said he had to "make sure things are done properly so they are not questioned.” He plans to start a new bidding process in 2015.
In December 2014, the United States Department of Education issued a report that gave the district recommendations on how to fix its technology program problems and move forward with future projects. The report suggests that future technology programs be tested before being implemented district-wide. It also suggests consolidating technology support and helplines and implementing a classroom technology strategy for the whole district. The report came in response to a request from Cortines. He asked for a review and for help fixing the MiSiS system. With fixing costs, the district could end up spending as much as four times more than the $25 million it originally budgeted for the system.
- California school districts
- List of school districts in California
- Los Angeles Unified School District elections (2013)
- Los Angeles Unified School District elections (2015)
- School board elections portal
- Los Angeles Unified School District
- United Teachers Los Angeles
- Los Angeles, California
- Los Angeles County, California
- California Department of Education
- California School Boards Association
- Ed Data, "District Reports: Accountability (API/AYP/Performance)," accessed November 17, 2014
- Ed Data, "District Reports: Profile of District," accessed November 17, 2014
- Geology.com, "California County Map with County Seat Cities," accessed July 1, 2014
- United States Census Bureau, "Los Angeles County, California," accessed July 1, 2014
- Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk, "Past Election Results," accessed July 1, 2014
- United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014
- U.S. News and World Report, "Los Angeles schools superintendent steps down after classroom gains, clashes with teachers," October 16, 2014
- CBS Los Angeles, "New LAUSD Interim Superintendent Ramon Cortines Begins Watch," October 20, 2014
- Los Angeles Unified School District, "Board of Education," accessed November 17, 2014
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- Los Angeles Unified School District, "Budget Services & Financial Planning," accessed November 25, 2013
- Ed Data, "District Reports: Teacher Salaries," accessed November 17, 2014
- Los Angeles Unified School District, "2014-2015 Salaries for Teachers with Regular Credentials (T) C Basis," accessed November 17, 2014
- United Teachers Los Angeles, "Governance," accessed December 9, 2014
- Los Angeles Daily News, "Tentative ruling: LAUSD must repeal teacher evaluation system," January 9, 2015
- ABC News, "Los Angeles Schools Drop Lawyer Who Won Sex Case," November 14, 2014
- 89.3 KPCC, "LAUSD argued middle schooler can consent to sex with teacher [updated," November 13, 2014]
- The Atlantic, "Why Did the Los Angeles Superintendent Resign?" October 17, 2014
- Los Angeles Unified School District, "District News: Letter of Resignation from Superintendent John E. Deasy," October 15, 2014
- NBC Los Angeles, "Union Calls for Investigation Into LAUSD iPad Program," August 26, 2014
- NPR, "The LA School iPad Scandal: What You Need To Know," August 27, 2014
- Los Angeles Times, "Federal grand jury subpoenaed documents from L.A. Unified," December 2, 2014
- NBC Los Angeles, "Union Demands 'Teacher Jail' For Schools Chief," September 3, 2014
- Los Angeles Unified School District, "Employee News: Third-Party MISIS Oversight Report Released," accessed November 17, 2014
- Fox 11, "Board Of Education: John Deasy Resigns As Superintendent Of LA Schools," October 15, 2014
- NPR, "An Update On LA's iPad Program," December 22, 2014
- Los Angeles Daily News, "Federal education officials tell LAUSD how to fix MiSiS and iPads," January 13, 2015
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