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LA Unified Report

LA Unified Report

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Published by scprweb
Audit of LA Unified on child abuse reporting procedures.
Audit of LA Unified on child abuse reporting procedures.

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Published by: scprweb on Nov 29, 2012
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11/29/2012

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Los Angeles UnifedSchool District
It Could Do More to Improve Its Handling o ChildAbuse AllegationsNovember 2012 Report 2012‑103
Independent
TRANSPARENT
Accountability
NONPARTISAN
 
Te rst ve copies o each Caliornia State Auditor report are ree. Additional copies are $3 each, payable by check or money order. You can obtain reports by contacting the Bureau o State Audits at the ollowing address:
Caliornia State AuditorBureau o State Audits555 Capitol Mall, Suite 300Sacramento, Caliornia 95814916.445.0255 or Y 916.445.0033
ORTis report is also available on the World Wide Web http://www.auditor.ca.gov Te Caliornia State Auditor is pleased to announce the availability o an online subscription service. Forinormation on how to subscribe, please contact the Inormation echnology Unit at 916.445.0255, ext. 456,or visit our Web site at www.auditor.ca.gov.Alternate ormat reports available upon request.Permission is granted to reproduce reports.For questions regarding the contents o this report,please contact Margarita Fernández, Chie o Public Aairs, at 916.445.0255.
 
CALIFORNIA STATE AUDITOR
Bureau o State Audits
Doug CordinerChief DeputyElaine M. HowleState Auditor
555 Capitol Mall, Suite  Sacramento, CA 958496.445.55 96.7.9 axwww.auditor.ca.gov
November 29, 2012 2012-103Te Governor o CaliorniaPresident pro empore o the SenateSpeaker o the Assembly State CapitolSacramento, Caliornia 95814Dear Governor and Legislative Leaders:As requested by the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, the Caliornia State Auditor (stateauditor) presents this audit report concerning whether the Los Angeles Unifed School District(district) is properly handling allegations o employee abuse against students.Tis report concludes that the district oten did not properly notiy the Commission on eacherCredentialing (commission) when required to do so, such as when an employee with a certifcateto teach is dismissed while an allegation o misconduct is pending. Our review o the inormationthe district provided to the commission ound that the district ailed to report as required atleast 144 cases—including cases involving employee misconduct against students—submitteda year or more late when the district fnally did report them. O the 144 cases, 31 were morethan three years late when they were reported to the commission. As a result o the delaysin reporting these cases, the commission was not able to determine promptly whether it wasappropriate to revoke the teachers’ certifcates and thus prevent the individuals rom working inother school districts. Further, we ound that there is no statewide mechanism to communicateto other school districts when a classifed employee at any given district, such as a campus aideor ood service worker, separates by dismissal, resignation, or settlement during the course o aninvestigation involving misconduct with students.Te district has made improvements to its policies and procedures related to reporting,investigating, and tracking suspected child abuse over time. However, although the districtgenerally ollowed state law and its own policies and procedures when reporting and investigatingsuspected child abuse, we ound that the district did not always act promptly on some allegationsduring the investigation, nor did it always discipline employees in a timely manner. During aninvestigation o employee misconduct, the district is responsible or keeping the employeeaway rom the school site. Te district’s policy or addressing this responsibility is to
house
the employee—to relocate him or her away rom its school sites. During this time the districtcontinues to pay the employee’s salary. We noted that the district paid $3 million in salaries to20 employees housed the longest or allegations o misconduct against students. Finally, thelengthy and expensive dismissal process required by state law contributes to the district’s settlingwith employees rather than continuing with the dismissal process. However, the district does notmaintain a districtwide tracking mechanism or settlements that includes the total amount paidout and descriptions o the misconduct. Such inormation could help the district identiy andanalyze patterns and trends associated with providing a settlement.Respectully submitted,ELAINE M. HOWLE, CPAState Auditor

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