School & District Management

Cortines’ Plan for L.A. Would Cut or Restructure 800 Jobs

By Alan Richard — March 22, 2000 2 min read

Ramon C. Cortines, the interim superintendent of the Los Angeles schools, wants to cut or restructure more than 800 administrative jobs in hopes of giving greater decisionmaking authority to schools and preparing the vast district for a new leader.

He revealed last week the details of his plan to reconfigure the central administration of the 700,000-student district, a plan he first announced in February. It would affect about 40 percent of the administrative positions in the nation’s second-largest district.

Mr. Cortines told school board members March 14 that 800 jobs would eliminated or restructured, and 470 positions added, for an overall reduction of about 330 jobs.

Many positions that survive the cuts would be moved to one of 11 new “local district” offices, each to be managed by a yet-to-be-hired superintendent who would have the power to make most financial and academic decisions. The changes could save $46.1 million in the district’s annual budget of about $7.5 billion, Mr. Cortines said.

The difference between his new plan and other subdistrict plans recommended in the past, he said, is the direct management structure in which the district’s top administrator would leave many decisions and services to the 11 local superintendents, who would work directly with principals at individual schools.

“It is my hope that, instead of jumping through hoops ... you can solve the problems and issues on the spot,” Mr. Cortines said in an interview last week.

Working on the Edge

Details of the plan brought excitement and worry last week to veteran employees at the district’s headquarters.

Judy Ivie Burton, the assistant superintendent of school reform, said the plan would dissolve her department, cutting some jobs and splitting others into district and local offices. Ms. Burton, a former teacher and principal, said her job would be eliminated, but added that she planned to apply for a new position as associate superintendent or for one of the 11 local superintendent jobs.

She said she hoped the plan would give the district its first well-organized staff-development program, enable a strong focus on Mr. Cortines’ main academic goal of improving reading districtwide, and restore public confidence in the sluggish system.

In the interview, Mr. Cortines said he still intended to leave his interim post in June and would not apply for the permanent job. He added that he hoped the school board would approve his reorganization plan, which he said would create a system in which a different type of leader could flourish once he leaves.

“This school district has a great deal of potential,” he said, “and if the board approves [the plan], I believe there’s hope for settling the system down.”

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the March 22, 2000 edition of Education Week as Cortines’ Plan for L.A. Would Cut or Restructure 800 Jobs

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Measuring & Supporting Student Well-Being: A Researcher and District Leader Roundtable
Students’ social-emotional well-being matters. The positive and negative emotions students feel are essential characteristics of their psychology, indicators of their well-being, and mediators of their success in school and life. Supportive relationships with peers, school
Content provided by Panorama Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Making Digital Literacy a Priority: An Administrator’s Perspective
Join us as we delve into the efforts of our panelists and their initiatives to make digital skills a “must have” for their district. We’ll discuss with district leadership how they have kept digital literacy
Content provided by Learning.com
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
How Schools Can Implement Safe In-Person Learning
In order for in-person schooling to resume, it will be necessary to instill a sense of confidence that it is safe to return. BD is hosting a virtual panel discussing the benefits of asymptomatic screening
Content provided by BD

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

School & District Management Opinion Pandemic Recovery Will Be Complex. We’ll Need the Best School Leaders
To face the education challenges of today and tomorrow, we must invest in the principal pipeline, writes Michael J. Petrilli.
Michael J. Petrilli
4 min read
Leader pointing hand forward, directing boat forward through corona virus crisis
iStock / Getty Images Plus
School & District Management Opinion The Year of Scourges: How I Survived Illness and Racism to Find My 'Tribe'
A Black school leader reflects on the hardest year of her professional life.
Reba Y. Hodge
4 min read
new growth on a bare tree
Vanessa Solis/Education Week & Getty Images
School & District Management From Our Research Center How the Pandemic Is Shaping K-12 Education (in Charts)
Surveys by the EdWeek Research Center show how schools have changed during the pandemic and what adjustments are likely to stick.
Eric DiVito gives breathing instructions as he teaches a remote music class at the Osborn School on Oct. 6, 2020, in Rye, N.Y.
Eric DiVito gives breathing instructions as he teaches a remote music class at the Osborn School in Rye, N.Y., last fall.
Mary Altaffer/AP
School & District Management Opinion Ed. Leaders: Discuss Race, Call Out White Supremacy
Downplaying the realities of racism leads to misunderstanding school problems and developing inadequate solutions.
John B. Diamond & Jennifer Cheatham
5 min read
Hand writing the word racism on blackboard. Stop hate. Against prejudice and violence. Lecture about discrimination in school.
Tero Vesalainen/iStock/Getty