Resolution: Promoting Transparency by the LAUSD

Whereas, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is accountable to all of its students, including the more than 640,000 students enrolled in kindergarten through 12th grade, the parents who entrust the care and education of their children to the District and the taxpayers who fund its operation;

Whereas, being accountable requires the LAUSD to be transparent in its operations;

Whereas, the Los Angeles City Controller’s office has provided a model for achieving transparency with Control Panel LA, an online “source for information about the City of Los Angeles’ expenditures, revenues, payroll, purchasing, special funds, and more”;

Whereas, the Los Angeles City Controller’s office has reportedly been rebuffed in its offer to help the LAUSD set up a similar system;

Whereas, the California Public Records Act (PRA) “is designed to give the public access to information in possession of public agencies”;

Whereas, the only currently available remedy for the public is to pursue court action when the District refuses to comply with a PRA request;

Whereas, the Brown Act ensures that “All meetings of the legislative body of a local agency shall be open and public, and all persons shall be permitted to attend any meeting of the legislative body of a local agency, except as otherwise provided in this chapter”;

Whereas, the Brown Act allows, but does not require, that the Board may meet in “closed sessions to discuss what is considered litigation”;

Whereas, the LAUSD is responsible for ensuring that all charter schools that it authorizes are following the law, including the Brown Act and the California Public Records Act.

Resolved, that is the policy of the LAUSD to operate in a way that is transparent to its stakeholders;

Resolved, that the Superintendent is directed to formulate a plan to institute a web site modeled on Control Panel LA;

Resolved, that the Superintendent is directed to contact the Los Angeles City Controller’s office for assistance in formulating this plan;

Resolved, that the Superintendent is directed to include a budget with this plan and that this budget will include any financial assistance offered by the Controller’s office;

Resolved, that the Superintendent will provide this plan to the Board within 30 days;

Resolved, that the Office of the General Counsel will be directed to prioritize transparency in responding to Public Records Act requests;

Resolved, that the Office of the General Counsel will report monthly on the number of PRA requests, the status of all open requests, the time elapsed between each PRA request, its date of fulfillment and the reason for each rejected request;

Resolved, that the Superintendent is directed to work with the Office of the General Counsel to post every PRA request and the documents that it releases under these requests on the LAUSD website;

Resolved, that the Superintendent is directed to form a panel, independent of the Office of the General Counsel and District Administration, that will hear appeals to PRA requests rejected by the Office of the General Counsel;

Resolved, that the Board will only conduct closed sessions to discuss issues involve confidential student or employee data;

Resolved, that employees will be allowed to waive their confidentiality protections and move their cases to a session that is open to the public;

Resolved, that the Charter School Division is directed to investigate any allegation of a violation of either the California Public Records Act or the Brown Act by a charter school authorized by the LAUSD;

Resolved, that the Charter School Division will issue a Notice to Cure if a violation is found to have occurred;

Resolved, that the Charter School Division will report to the Board if a Notice to Cure is not resolved within 30 days or if a charter school repeatedly violates these laws.


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