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Decentralization at the Los Angeles Unified School District

George Beck (California State University, Fullerton, USA)
Sharon L. Segrest‐Purkiss (California State University, Fullerton, USA)

Management Research News

ISSN: 0140-9174

Article publication date: 1 June 2004



The LAUSD is the largest school district in the State and is charged with the responsibility of educating over one‐fifth of the children in California. Taken individually, each of the LAUSD’s eleven local districts would rank in the top twenty in the State in terms of student population. The District is LA County’s second largest employer, and with an annual operating and capital budget of over nine billion dollars, it brings together a diverse range of active and dynamic stakeholders. In 2000 the LAUSD found itself at a crossroads. In response to growing criticism and the threat of a State‐mandated break‐up due to the poor performance of their schools, the District created eleven mini‐districts to improve accountability and take instructional programs closer to the people who use them. This paper provides background on the LAUSD’s decentralization effort and power sharing aspects of the District’s self‐imposed break‐up, and recommendations for addressing these issues are postulated.



Beck, G. and Segrest‐Purkiss, S.L. (2004), "Decentralization at the Los Angeles Unified School District", Management Research News, Vol. 27 No. 6, pp. 40-49.



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Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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