So Cal education, LAUSD, the Cal States and the UCs

A primer on teacher layoff and dismissals (by one advocacy group)

The L.A. Unified school board will be looking at a resolution at its Tuesday meeting to push for changes to how credentialed employees are dismissed.

Given that, here's a two-page primer from April 2011 on "Teacher Layoff and Dismissals in California State Law" by The Education Trust-West, an Oakland-based education advocacy group:

Tami Abdollah can be reached via email and on Twitter (@latams).


L.A. Unified school board to look at changes to teacher dismissal proceedings

LAUSD board meeting

Tami Abdollah / KPCC

LAUSD board meeting

The L.A. Unified Board of Education will vote on a resolution next Tuesday that looks at making it a district priority to call on state legislators to change the dismissal proceedings of certificated employees after a flurry of teacher misconduct cases over the weeks.

The resolution, authored by board member Tamar Galatzan and co-sponsored by Nury Martinez and board president Monica Garcia, states that "state policies make the dismissal process ineffective and costly" and that the problem is not just a challenge for LAUSD but also a statewide and national issue. 

"The Education Code needs to be updated and clarified as it currently includes outdated and irrelevant language regarding grounds for termination such as 'membership in the Communist Party,'" the resolution states.

Here are the major changes to the Education Code that the resolution outlines:


State audit on LAUSD handling of child abuse includes look at 6 schools

California Stock Photo


California State Capitol in Sacramento

California's auditor Elaine Howle will begin her performance audit on how L.A. Unified handles child abuse claims within a week and will look at the policies and procedures of the district as well as six schools, according to state Assemblyman Ricardo Lara, who requested the review.

The request for the performance audit was unanimously approved today by the Joint Legislative Audit Committee.

"I'm ecstatic," Lara said this afternoon after the committee meeting, which he chairs, approved his request. The request was given priority by a separate vote of the committee. "We're going to see if the state has a role in clarifying the current statutes. We hope to get a comprehensive look at what current policies are in place and identify any lapses or omissions."

The audit will take about seven to nine months and will not only look at the school district's policies and procedures but also at six school sites within L.A. Unified to determine how to strengthen oversight in reporting accusations against district employees, Lara said. "We find it necessary to go into the schools and audit and investigate to see what schools are doing," Lara said.


Mojave Desert parents resubmit school reform bid

Mojave Desert parents hoping to reform a low performing elementary school have resubmitted a revamped petition with what they say are more than enough signatures to force the district to accept their demands.

Adelanto Elementary School District assistant superintendent Ross Swearingen says the Desert Trails Parent Union resubmitted the petition late Tuesday.

Under the state parent empowerment law, the district has 25 days to verify that the petition has the valid signatures of at least half of the school's parents.

The district rejected the first petition after finding a number of discrepancies in signatures.

Parent organizers at Desert Trails Elementary say they found four instances of fraud in signature rescission forms that could have tainted the first petition. They have requested a criminal investigation.


L.A. Unified 'negligence' on child abuse claims led to state audit request, official says

State Assemblyman Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) ups the tone of his comments on LAUSD's handling of child abuse claims in a release today on his request for a state performance audit on the issue.

Lara, who represents southeast Los Angeles, said he made the request after recent reports on "LAUSD's negligence in managing and documenting" claims of child abuse.

"The violation of trust and safety has left our communities grapping to understand how abuse can happen in our schools," Lara said. "...The continuous reports of the district's mismanagement of child abuse cases are appalling, and it is our responsibility to investigate the lapses in administrative oversight and idenity corrective actions so that predators are stopped."

The request for the performance audit was unanimously approved today by the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, and will begin immediately, said Julia Juarez, a spokeswoman from Lara's office.