Thursday, July 11, 2013

LASM: AALA and UTLA Presidents write LAUSD Board Members with serious concerns over Superintendent's irresponsible comments and behavior

First published on LASM on July 11, 2013

Deasy stayed at the Gates Foundation only a year and a half, practicing that "responsible philanthropy," which amounts to handing out money with one hand while throwing a bomb with the other. Many speculate that the Gates job was just a holding pattern for the Los Angeles appointment, which will give him the opportunity to turn LA in to the Gates model district. — Susan Ohanian

It's about time that someone demanded the Superintendent follow the directives of the elected representatives of the people of Los Angeles rather than those of the small minded tyrant named Eli calling the shots from 10900 Wilshire Boulevard. Let's applaud both Dr. Perez and Mr. Fletcher for this wonderfully worded letter demanding a modicum accountability from Mr. Deasy.

Dear Board Members:

We are writing on behalf of the members of our two organizations: United Teachers Los Angeles, which represents the 36,000 classroom teachers and health and human services professionals of LAUSD, and Associated Administrators of Los Angeles, exclusive representative for over 2,300 certificated and classified administrators within the District.

We wish to raise a concern about recent statements by Superintendent John Deasy, related to his obligation to abide by the policy positions and directives of the Board of Education.

On June 20, the "LA School Report," published a story entitled, "Defiant Deasy Says He'll Push Targeted Spending Plan Anyway." In that article Mr. Deasy clearly indicates that it is his intention to circumvent the Board vote on use of new state LCFF monies. Specifically, Mr. Deasy is quoted as stating that, "The Board voted down the directive. . . ," referring to Ms. Galatzan's recent local spending resolution, "[But] they can't stop me from doing it; we're doing it anyway." To date, we have not been able to locate any report that Mr. Deasy has disavowed these public statements, nor has he indicated that he was misquoted.

The Superintendent is an employee of the District, and is legally required to operate "under the control of the Board." The California courts have recognized that a Superintendent does not "exercise independent powers" (Main vs. Claremont, Unified School District, 161 CalApp 2d189, 204).

As the presidents of two organizations charged with representing and bargaining for a large proportion of District employees, we do not expect that Mr. Deasy's statements and policy positions will always align with those of our respective organizations. However, as both District employees and as taxpayers, we do expect that the Superintendent will, at all times, discharge his duties in a manner that is consistent with his role as the District's chief executive officer. Statements and conduct to the contrary can only erode public confidence in the Board and the District. California law clearly places both the power and the responsibility for ultimate leadership of the District in the hands of its elected governing board. Regardless of Mr. Deasy's motives or intentions, no district, and no community, is served when this democratic authority is undermined.

Please contact either of us if you have any questions. We are thankful for your time and attention to this matter.


Warren Fletcher Judith Perez
President, President,
United Teachers Los Angeles Associated Administrators of Los Angeles


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