It’s official. California’s Superintendent of Public Instruction sent a letter Thursday to Ingelwood’s elected school board members telling them the state’s taking over the school district.
State Superintendent Tom Torlakson addressed the one-page letter to Trina Williams, the school board president. It says the state law that authorized the bailout loan for the district also requires the state superintendent to assume the legal rights, duties, and powers of Inglewood Unified’s school board.
The union that represents classified workers said it hoped state receivership would mean a rollback of a 15 percent employee pay cut approved by board members days before the state takeover.
Inglewood education activist D’Artagnan Scorza says people he’s spoken with are looking beyond the state takeover. “Regardless of whoever is here, regardless of whether or not it’s the board, regardless of whether or not it’s the state, we ultimately have a responsibility to our children and to their future,” Scorza says.
California’s Department of Education is working with officials in the L.A. County Office of Education to interview and hire a state administrator to run the 12,000-student district and improve its finances and curricula.
An official with the Fiscal Crisis & Management Assistance team, who’s been monitoring Inglewood Unified’s financial trouble, says a state administrator should be in place by November. In the meantime, current superintendent Gary McHenry will continue to run the district day to day.