- Kelly Gonez
Like a hacker using spyware, education “reformers” have figured out that the best way to infiltrate a system is to embed themselves within the system. By using the incentive of paying a portion of an employee’s salary, these organizations have filled positions within the LAUSD with people that they have selected. This allows them to strategically place people in positions of power within the district who will be loyal to their goals. The needs of the district’s students become secondary.
While the conflict of interest inherent in these arrangements is rife with ethical questions, the way that these contracts are approved raises even more questions. An arrangement with Leadership for Educational Equity (LEE) that was approved by the board last year provides an example.
By the LAUSD staff’s own admission, the positions covered by the contracts considered during a board meeting in August 2020 were not something that the district was looking to fill. Instead, LEE approached staff members with “policy opportunities.” Without putting the position up for bid, a contract was drawn that included only a specified position but did not include an actual name for the person that would be hired. The district would pay $50,000 for nine months to cover a position that they did not even know they needed.