by Samantha Oltman- LA School Report http://bit.ly/SJ107C
Posted on December 7, 2012 :: A controversial item on the LAUSD School Board agenda this week proposes drastically limiting Superintendent John Deasy’s ability to seek funding for the district by applying for public or private grants.
Board Member Richard Vladovic>>
The resolution, initiated by School Board Members Richard Vladovic, Bennett Kayser, and Marguerite LaMotte, aims to give the school board veto power over grant applications made by the school superintendent in amounts over $750,000.
According to a source with knowledge about LAUSD grant applications, Supt. Deasy has been awarded about $120 million dollars for the district through grants so far.
Because of the split on the school board between union-backed board members and supporters of reform-minded Deasy, the effect would be to severely limit the district’s ability to attract foundation and federal money.
LAUSD Board Member Nury Martinez doesn’t see the point of the resolution. “As a board member, I fight for more resources for my district,” Martinez said. “Why would we create a roadblock to securing more resources?” She said she doesn’t know why the board would want to “create another step in the process to relieve cash-strapped schools with additional funding.”
Board Member Richard Vladovic was not available for comment.
smf: A grant is a legal and binding contract between the grantor and the grantee, where both parties are obligated to fulfill certain obligations. That the superintendent can enter into such a contact without the approval of the Board of Education is a failure of fiduciary responsibility by public trustees. I’m surprised that Boardmember Galatzan isn’t all over this like white-on-rice.
If I were a grantor I wouldn’t give a grant of any amount to any school district without the approval and concurrence of the Board of Education. We must remember that the superintendent serves at their pleasure – and it is the board, not the superintendent – who is publicly accountable.
35. Dr. Vladovic, Mr. Kayser, Ms. LaMotte - AMENDMENT TO DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY FOR GRANT APPLICATIONS (Noticed December 11, 2012 at 9am)
Whereas, The Los Angeles Unified School District must be aggressive about seeking additional funding in most every area of education, including support for adult education, sports, health, afterschool and before school programs, the arts, pre-kindergarten, etc.;
Whereas, Grants are a logical place to look for funds, though they are often mistakenly perceived as free money, but in reality, most grants come with many strings attached, including, but not limited to, required matching funds, an extensive drain on staff time, additional auditing procedures, and/or a commitment to hire new staff members; and
Whereas, As the duly elected policy making body at the District, it is the Governing Board of the Los Angeles Unified School District’s responsibility alone, to commit the District to major policy and budget decisions; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That any grant application over $750,000 be approved by the Governing Board of the Los Angeles Unified School District prior to its submission.