Local Initiative Schools (LIS) were established in December of 2011, through the Local School Stabilization and Empowerment Initiative (LSSEI)
agreement signed between LAUSD and UTLA that offers schools the ability to be thoughtful and specific about how and what they offer through different school autonomy options. The main belief of the new agreement is that the staff, students, and families at school sites are better prepared to determine the best practices and policies to meet their students' needs to increase student learning. Schools can take greater ownership of their site-based decision-making on many different matters ranging from curriculum to staffing to governance. In May 2012, LAUSD and the Associated Administrators of Los Angeles (AALA) signed an aligned agreement, indicating AALA's ongoing support of their members should they choose to work with their schools on one of these autonomy models.
Through the agreement Local Initiative Schools have the authority and option to determine local policy with respect to any or all matters listed below. (NOTE: Schools must remain in compliance with State and Federal law. Please read the actual agreement for more detailed language on each of the autonomies outlined below):
- Governance - Teachers, parents, and students are engaged and actively participate in school operation decisions.
- Staffing and assignments - flexibility with staff selection and other key positions
- Mutual consent - Teachers have the right to accept or reject positions at schools and school leadership teams have the right to accept or reject potential teachers
- Instruction - flexibility to choose what is taught and how
- Scheduling - flexibility to create a schedule that allows for more intervention or more classes
- School organization - flexibility with a school's internal organization plan, such as academies or students organized by grade level or by gender
- Budget flexibilities - flexibility to make budget decisions to support school priorities
- Professional development - flexibility to decide how teachers teach and learn from each other
- Student discipline - flexibility to develop own incentives and consequences to school behavior
- Health/safety matters - can establish community partnerships to support students and families
What does this mean for schools?
- Empowerment: Choices in curriculum, staffing and schedule are made by those closest to the students.
- Innovation: Schools can engage in promising and effective practices to find new avenues of success for our learners.
- Personalization: Schools are designed to support individual students in achieving their goals.
What does this mean for students?
- Achievement: The freedoms will be used to ensure that every student has access to high quality education.
- Inclusive: Students will be part of key school decisions such as teacher and principal selection.
What does this mean for parents?
- Leadership: Parents will be empowered to work with school leadership to make key decisions including staff selection
What does this mean for Central Administration?
- Service culture: We will shift our systems to support our schools to successfully implement these flexibilities.