LAUSD's Scandal Du Jour

Last December, FBI agents “seized 20 boxes of documents related to LAUSD’s trouble iPad program.” Yesterday, an ethics complaint was filed against Board member Tamar Galatzan alleging that she used district resources in her campaign for re-election. Similar charges were leveled against her during her failed run for a seat on the City Council. Today the district and its interim Superintendent were named “in a new lawsuit that includes explosive new assertions sure to cause anger, embarrassment and disruptions at district headquarters.” The suit includes charges of “sexual harassment, retaliation, discrimination and failure to take all steps necessary to stop harassment and retaliation.” If Tamar Galatzan thinks that this is the direction  in which the LAUSD should be headed, I would hate to see what she considers failure.

The allegations made by Scot Graham are not new and the LAUSD School Board knew about them when they hired Cortines to run the district for the third time. In fact, in 2012 the District reached a settlement with the same plaintiff that included a $200,000 payout and health benefits, but this was derailed when the district outed Graham during a news conference. The new suit claims additional damages allegedly caused by the hostile work environment created by the rehiring of Cortines. The two men “work a floor apart.”

With these unresolved charges, and the potential cost to the district hanging over Cortines, the public should question why the School Board brought him back into a leadership position. At the very least, they should have done everything possible to ensure that his term was limited, but they have not even started looking for a more permanent successor. The new lawsuit should serve as a reminder of the size of this mistake.

The students of the LAUSD deserve better.


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