LAUSD board approves new administration for 36 schools

James A. Garfield High School in Los Angeles, Calif.
James A. Garfield High School in Los Angeles, Calif.

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After rallies and passionate comments from parents and teachers, L.A. Unified’s board of education today approved nonprofit groups to take over administration of 36 new and low performing schools in the district.

Even though the board of education had expressed impatience that existing school personnel weren’t carrying out reforms fast enough, for most of the school in question, it approved reform plans crafted by teachers and administrators.

That vote upset charter school supporters. The district’s superintendent had recommended six charter school operators to run campuses. An amendment by Board President Monica Garcia cut two of those charters. She and her colleagues gave the go ahead to L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s education nonprofit to run three schools.

The groups have until May to draft plans on how they’ll serve special education students, then they’ll move forward with plans to put reforms in place for the fall term.

The powerful United Teachers Los Angeles, which helped teachers craft successful reform plans, wants to put a stop to the process before then. It’s moving forward with a lawsuit that claims the school board can’t change campus administration this way.