Under Pressure, LAUSD Releases Confidential Contracts for Reform Consultants

Austin Beutner, superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, is seen in this undated photo. (Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Austin Beutner, superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, is seen in this undated photo. (Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Outside consultants working on a plan to restructure the Los Angeles Unified School District were asked to develop a performance-based rating system for schools and to shift hiring and purchasing of services from the central district office to local campus networks, according to confidential contracts provided to The Times.

The contracts were released last week in response to repeated requests since October from Board of Education member Scott Schmerelson. The consultants’ work was not disclosed, but Schmerelson plans to continue to press to make it public.

District officials had declined requests from the Times and others to make the contracts public as Supt. Austin Beutner developed his reform plan, which he said is meant to save money and improve student success by bringing decision-making and resources closer to the campus level.

The contracts also became an issue in the weeks leading up to the January teachers’ strike, when union leaders and their members expressed concern about where Beutner — a businessman with no background in education management — would take the nation’s second-largest school system.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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