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Strategic Review of District and School Resources in LAUSD

In the fall of 2006, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and the Unified Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that called for a third-party research firm to analyze resource use across the Los Angeles school system. Education Resource Strategies (ERS) was chosen to conduct this analysis and this report presents our findings.

Key findings include:

  • Overall, LAUSD receives a low level of funding compared to other large urban districts in the US and allocates a high percentage of these funds to instruction.
  • However, funding is heavily restricted by state, federal, district, and collective bargaining requirements. This leads to proliferation of interventions and programs that can undermine instructional coherence in schools and foster an inefficient use of resources.
  • Though LAUSD allocates a high percentage of its resources to schools (and much of this to instruction), opportunities remain to make better use of the district’s limited resources. 
  • LAUSD invests more on elementary schools ($9.0K) than middle ($7.0K) and high schools($7.6K). Within these school levels, we find resources distributed equitably weighting consistently for greater student needs.
  • Despite low overall funding level, LAUSD schools could organize more effectively to provide students with more individual attention and more effective time for learning.
  • LAUSD invests significant resources in professional development. However, the district lacks a coherent professional development strategy that aligns the key components of spending in order to address district priorities and match the needs and performance of teachers, students, and schools.

Download the report (PDF)

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