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LAUSD is on precarious fiscal footing. It needs to give major reform a chance

LAUSD is on precarious fiscal footing. It needs to give major reform a chance
LAUSD Supt. Austin Beutner speaks at Jordan High School on Sept. 7. (Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Reporting on the proposed reorganization of the Los Angeles Unified School District reflects the fact that the district must transform so it can meet its fundamental obligations to Los Angeles’ children and the public at large.

The new LAUSD administration must put its fiscal house in order or risk having to ask taxpayers for more money in exchange for drastic reforms. It is a fact that LAUSD stakeholders — including the Los Angeles County Office of Education, the California Department of Education and others — acknowledge the district is on poor fiscal footing. Further, parents and families are speaking with their feet after years of missed opportunities by exploring other school districts and placing their children in public charter schools.

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Now, for the first time in recent memory, this complicated institution has a chance for real change that benefits students, families, communities and its own personnel. The children and families of LAUSD deserve at least that much.

Alex Johnson, Los Angeles

The writer is a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Education.

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To the editor: As a former teacher and administrator, retired after 35 years with LAUSD, I can only say this latest plan to divide the district into 32 “networks” certainly sounds like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic — again.

Over my years in the district our leaders experimented with areas, regions, divisions and more. None made any real difference or lasted long enough to see if there could be an effect. Each was passed off as a way to improve instruction.

Perhaps the district should listen to teachers and reduce class size. Along with more school nurses, psychologists, and librarians, that could better bridge the achievement gap that now exists.

Doris Dent, Northridge

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