Report 2016-103 Recommendation 7 Responses

Report 2016-103: Los Angeles Unified School District: It Can Do More to Reduce the Impacts of Removing Teachers From Classrooms Because of Alleged Misconduct (Release Date: October 2016)

Recommendation #7 To: Los Angeles Unified School District

To ensure that substitutes do not exceed assignment time limits that state law and regulations have established, by April 2017 LAUSD should formalize its recent practice of reviewing assignments of substitutes in its Smart Find system weekly. As part of this formalized practice, LAUSD should review open teacher reassignments to ensure that the Smart Find system includes all substitute assignments for those teachers.

1-Year Agency Response

The task force has prohibited non-routine payments to ensure that it can best monitor the appropriate use of substitute teachers. Monthly meetings between the task force and the Assistant Director of the substitute unit, with a review of reports, has served to implement this recommendation and such regular meetings will continue.

  • Completion Date: July 2017
  • Response Date: October 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented

Upon follow up with LAUSD, the district provided documentation of correspondence between its substitute teacher unit and administrative staff overseeing teacher reassignments. The purpose of this documentation is to ensure that the teachers identified as reassigned in the substitute unit's records represent all actually reassigned teachers. LAUSD also provided documentation of additional guidance being issued to school administrators directing them to properly account for classrooms of reassigned teachers and reminding them of legal limitations on duration of classroom service for substitutes who are not fully credentialed teachers.

6-Month Agency Response

The Audit Report Task Force receives weekly (every Monday)reports from the substitute unit to review and monitor sub assignments for reassigned employees. The HR Personnel Specialist sends notice to the Principal for any reassigned employees as needed in order to ensure compliance with timelines under state law.

The relevant bulletin has been revised to include an attachment requiring schools to choose the "reassigned" option in SmartFind Express when calling for a substitute to cover the class of a reassigned employee. This corrects the previous system whereby administrators had too many options available as the reason for the substitute, which made tracking difficult.

  • Completion Date: March 2017
  • Response Date: April 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Pending

LAUSD's response indicates that it is conducting regular reviews of substitute assignments for reassigned teachers in its SmartFind database. However, LAUSD has not developed a formal procedure for this review, which would help ensure the review's timeliness and consistency. Further, LAUSD has not addressed the second part of our recommendation, which identified the need for a procedure to review the assignments in its substitute assignment database to ensure that the database reflects all classrooms with currently reassigned teachers. We made this recommendation because we found instances in which, contrary to LAUSD policy, school site administrators requested substitutes by means other than through the official database. In those instances, the current database would not be able to track the duration of those substitute assignments to ensure they comply with state law.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation
  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

60-Day Agency Response

LAUSD implemented SmartFind in June 2016 to monitor all substitute assignments in order to ensure that they do not exceed time limits. The Human Resources department will continue to monitor assignments to ensure compliance with the law. Assuming the length of time a substitute is in place, merely by reviewing the number of days an employee is housed, however, can skew the assessment since many school sites have other employees from the site cover classes when teachers are temporarily reassigned. For this reason, monitoring SmartFind is the best way to review the length of time substitutes are assigned and a point person in the new task force will ensure that this review occurs.

  • Estimated Completion Date: March 31, 2017
  • Response Date: January 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending

All Recommendations in 2016-103

Agency responses received are posted verbatim.