Bored of Education? Then Step Aside

A Letter to Tamar Galatzan:

It is readily apparent to anyone who has attended a LAUSD board meeting over the last few months that you have lost your passion for the job. You fulfill the requirements for receiving your second government paycheck by physically showing up for these meetings, but show little interest in the proceedings. Instead, you pass the time on your iPad oblivious to the stakeholders who are trying to plead their cases to the board.

Early in your tenure, it was clear that the LAUSD board seat was only supposed to be a starting point to a bigger political career. After raising more than $2 million to win your first term in 2007, you ran for city council just two years later. Sure, you still listed “improving our schools” as one of your priorities, but the city council does not oversee education. If schools were your real priority, you would have concentrated on the job on the board rather than run in another election. Your planned career path was disrupted and you are now stuck in a job that you find “frustrating.”

The unfolding MiSiS crisis shows how disengaged from your job you have become. Your fellow “board member Bennett Kayser warned Superintendent John Deasy in a July 21 letter that the system was ‘causing major disruptions.’” When you claimed that “because until it happened, the board had no inkling that the system wasn’t ready to go live," you not only showed that you were ignorant of what was happening with the  $20 million system, but that you were not communicating with the other board members. Furthermore, you do not seem to understand your responsibilities when you say that “we don’t supervise anyone who works for the Superintendent.” In fact, the Superintendent reports to the board. This is made worse by the revelation that the person in charge of the MiSiS system was actually a contractor and, as a report by the district’s Inspector General in 2013 stated, her “proposed rate of $135 per hour...’is not supported and not reasonable.’”

It was nice to actually see some passion when you delivered playground equipment to Kittridge Elementary School. As happy as I am that these children will get to use this new equipment, I take serious issue with your statement that “this is the best $12,000 I’ve spent in my seven years as a board member.” The board you sit on oversees the EDUCATION of 640,000 students. Someone who still had a passion for the job would recognize that every dollar saved from wasteful programs and actually spent on education is "the best money spent". If you can not provide this passion, you owe it to these children to step aside. Their futures depend on it.