Education News in Brief

Audit Criticizes Hiring for L.A. School Work

By The Associated Press — November 02, 2010 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

An audit of hiring practices in the Los Angeles Unified School District’s $20 billion construction program has revealed nearly 230 possible conflicts of interest, including four cases of possible financial misconduct, the city controller says.

The district describes its 8-year-old school building program as the largest school construction project in U.S. history. It has involved the hiring of more than 1,000 contractors.

The violations uncovered by the audit largely occurred before 2006, when controls were especially lax in the program, Controller Wendy Greuel said last week, adding that since then, the district has tightened hiring oversight.

The four more-serious cases involved hiring decisionmakers who stood to benefit financially from the company selected because they had investments in it, Ms. Greuel said. She declined to reveal details, saying only that she has referred the cases to the school district for review over the next 30 days. The district could turn the cases over to the prosecutor’s office if it deems a criminal investigation is warranted.

The audit also found 225 instances in which contractors serving on the district’s hiring panels hired others from their own firms, and 80 instances in which contractors were hired without going through a requisite three-member hiring panel.

Schools Superintendent Ramon Cortines requested the audit after a former contracted construction manager was indicted on charges of receiving kickbacks from employees he had hired. Ms. Greuel described the request as unusual and rare and noted the audit marked the first time the city controller had examined the school district. She said she hoped to be able to conduct more probes into school district issues, such as textbook purchasing.

A version of this article appeared in the November 03, 2010 edition of Education Week as Audit Criticizes Hiring for L.A. School Work

Events

Classroom Technology Webinar Building Better Blended Learning in K-12 Schools
The pandemic and the increasing use of technology in K-12 education it prompted has added renewed energy to the blended learning movement as most students are now learning in school buildings (and will likely continue

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: November 17, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Nearly a Million Kids Vaccinated in Week 1, White House Says
Experts say there are signs that it will be difficult to sustain the initial momentum.
4 min read
Leo Hahn, 11, gets the first shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021, at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. Last week, U.S. health officials gave the final signoff to Pfizer's kid-size COVID-19 shot, a milestone that opened a major expansion of the nation's vaccination campaign to children as young as 5. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Education How Schools Are Getting Kids the COVID Shot, and Why Some Aren’t
Some district leaders say offering vaccine clinics, with the involvement of trusted school staff, is key to helping overcome hesitancy.
5 min read
A girl walks outside of a mobile vaccine unit after getting the first dose of her COVID-19 vaccine, outside P.S. 277, Friday, Nov. 5, 2021, in the Bronx borough of New York. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)
Education Biden Administration Urges Schools to Provide COVID-19 Shots, Information for Kids
The Biden administration is encouraging local school districts to host vaccine clinics for kids and information on benefits of the shots.
2 min read
President Joe Biden, and first lady Jill Biden walk to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021. Biden is spending the weekend at his home in Rehoboth Beach, Del. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)