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California State Auditor Report Number : 2015-510

Follow-Up—Los Angeles Unified School District
It Has Improved Its Investigations and Reporting of Misconduct Allegations Against District Employees

September 3, 2015 2015-510

The Governor of California
President pro Tempore of the Senate
Speaker of the Assembly
State Capitol
Sacramento, California 95814

Dear Governor and Legislative Leaders:

This report presents the results of a follow-up audit of the Los Angeles Unified School District (district) related to recommendations made in 2012 by the California State Auditor (state auditor). In November 2012 the state auditor issued an audit report titled Los Angeles Unified School District: It Could Do More to Improve Its Handling of Child Abuse Allegations, Report 2012-103. The 2012 audit report included recommendations aimed at ensuring the district appropriately reported allegations of misconduct to the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (commission) and increased its oversight of open allegations so that misconduct investigations proceed in a timely manner. In May 2015 the state auditor initiated a follow-up audit to evaluate the status of the three recommendations made to the district in the 2012 audit.

This report concludes that the district has implemented our recommendation to notify the commission of certificated employees accused of misconduct in accordance with state law. Our 2012 audit found that the district often did not properly notify the commission when employees resigned, retired, were dismissed, or otherwise terminated while an allegation of employee misconduct was pending. The results of our follow-up audit found that the district failed to send required notifications to the commission within the time frames outlined in state law, in only three of 92 instances (3 percent) we reviewed. In contrast, our 2012 report found that, in at least 144 out of 429 cases (34 percent), the district failed to notify the commission in a timely manner.

The district is now resolving allegations of misconduct by its employees in a more timely manner. Our previous audit report found that the district did not promptly investigate some allegations in a timely manner and we recommended that the district increase its oversight of open allegations. In response, the district created the Student Safety Investigation Team (investigation team) in its central office to handle all allegations of sexual misconduct. Our review of the district’s new policies and procedures and 12 allegations investigated by the investigative unit showed that the district has made improvements in the time it takes to investigate an allegation. The district is now completing its investigations within an average of five months, or 50 percent faster than what we observed during the 2012 audit. We also found that the investigation team complied with the district’s policy of completing investigations within 120 working days for the 12 cases we reviewed.

Respectfully submitted,

State Auditor

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