UTLA reaches agreement with LAUSD to provide stability and local control to struggling schools

Tentative agreement will eliminate giveaways of schools in favor of flexibility and supports that meet each school’s individual needs.

November 29, 2011 - In an agreement that recognizes that to be successful, school change must come collaboratively from school stakeholders rather than top-down mandates, United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) today reached an agreement with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) to allow teachers, parents, and communities to drive decisions at their local schools based on what is best for their school community.

The innovative support agreement grew out of negotiations on Public School Choice (PSC) mandated by the LAUSD school board in August 2011, when the school board approved giving priority to in-District teams writing plans for new PSC schools. UTLA’s priority was to prevent more destabilizing school giveaways to outside operators, to provide support for struggling schools and to expand the opportunities for true local control and school-driven reform.

The agreement provides:

  • Stability to schools by imposing a 3-year moratorium on giveaways of either new or existing schools to outside charter school operators. The focus is on support rather than punitive measures including binding limits on reconstitution.
  • Ongoing support for high-needs schools via LAUSD, UTLA and AALA intervention teams to service schools with professional development and other school-based assistance provided by displaced teachers, National Board Certificated teachers, and universities. The package for schools includes supports such as training in sharing of best practices, improving English Language learner reclassification rates, analysis of student work, and professional development that focuses on differentiated instruction.
  • Local control and school site decision-making options instead of top-down mandates to allow schools to waive selected Board policies and District / UTLA contract provisions.
  • Multiple options for schools to choose any “local control” District Governance model – Pilot, Expanded School Based Management Model (ESBMM), or the newly created Local Initiative School model - that works best for their school.

Twenty-two selected high-needs schools are initially eligible under the agreement. All other schools will be phased in.

“Schools have functioned too long in an environment where decisions are made by others about what is best for them, rather than by those who are at the school site and familiar with their school’s needs,” said UTLA President Warren Fletcher. “Local school-site control has been more successful than management by outside operators.”

The agreement must be approved by both UTLA members and the LAUSD school board. The UTLA member vote will take place in December.

Contact Marla Eby, Director of Communications at 213-368-6247 for additional details.