Upon the recent enactment of SB 533, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson, assumed all the rights, duties, and powers of the Inglewood Unified School District governing board and, in consultation with the Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools, will appoint a state administrator to act on his behalf. That person has not yet been named, and current Superintendent Gary McHenry will remain in that role until someone is selected.
According to the California Department of Education, during the state administrator’s tenure, the Inglewood school district’s governing board will serve as an advisory body, and may not receive any stipend, benefit, or other compensation from the district.
The state will maintain control of Inglewood schools until six conditions are met. Once the following conditions are met, the governing board will regain its rights, duties, and powers, but what they can do will be limited by a state trustee who will be appointed once the district regains control, to oversee, and report progress to the state.
The six conditions are:
1. One complete fiscal year must elapse following the enactment (signing) of the emergency loan legislation and, at any time after year the state administrator can notify the state superintendent that future compliance by the school district with its recovery plans is probable.
2. The state superintendent has approved all of the recovery plans, including a multi-year financial recovery plan, and management review and recovery plan; and the County Office off of education Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team (FCMAT) completes improvement plans for the district (which will satisfy the requirement for the required management review and recovery plan) and a minimum of two progress reports on district implementation of the improvement plans have been made.
3. The state administrator certifies that all necessary collective bargaining agreements have been negotiated, ratified, and are consistent with the terms of the recovery plans.
4. The district has completed all other reports required by the state superintendent and the state administrator.
5. The state administrator certifies that the members of the school board and district personnel, as appropriate, have successfully completed the training specified in subdivision (b) of Section 7 of SB 533.
6. The state superintendent determines that future compliance by the district with the improvement (management recovery) plans and the multi-year financial recovery plan is probable.
The state administrator serves under the direction and supervision of the state superintendent and will direct the day-to-day operation and financial recovery of the district. In addition, the state administrator acts in place of the district governing board and the personnel commission, if one exists. In these capacities, the state administrator is authorized by law to do the following:
1. Implement substantial change in the fiscal policies and practices of the district.
2. Revise the district’s educational program to reflect realistic income projections and pupil performance relative to state standards.
3. Encourage all members of the school community to accept a fair share of the burden of the district’s fiscal recovery.
4. Consult, for the purposes described above, with the district advisory board, the exclusive representatives of the employees of the district, parents, and the community; and consult with and seek recommendations from the state superintendent, Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools, and FCMAT on any facet of state administration.
The (FCMAT) will assess the quality of district operations, and complete the associated improvement plans for five areas of district operation: financial management, pupil achievement, personnel management, facilities management, and community relations. The state superintendent may return governance to the board over any area for which district performance has improved to the satisfaction of the state superintendent. In other words, there can be an incremental return of governance to the board