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Los Angeles schools chief Austin Beutner is working out a plan to radically reshape the nation’s second-largest school district by greatly shrinking the central bureaucracy and moving decision-making closer to schools.

The aim is to boost student success and also to save money at a time when district officials insist that grave financial problems threaten the Los Angeles Unified School District with insolvency.

Under a proposal being developed confidentially, Beutner, who spent much of his career in business, would divide the school system into 32 “networks,” bringing authority and resources out of the central office and into neighborhoods.

In the downtown headquarters, managers and other employees recently have been asked to explain their duties — and to justify why their particular jobs should continue to exist in a leaner, more efficient, more localized school system.

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