The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is currently facing a shrinking budget, a perception that it is overly bureaucratic and centralized, and dissatisfaction with standardized test scores. While some politicians argue that the district should be broken up, several experts believe that decentralization of LAUSD’s budget authority is the answer.
This memo written for the LAUSD superintendent’s chief of staff, Andy Cazares, evaluates decentralized decision-making models in the context of implementation within LAUSD. We conducted an extensive review of academic and government research; interviewed LAUSD staff,
academic experts and officials from four cities with experience in decentralization; surveyed 135 LAUSD principals; and reviewed district, state and federal regulations.