The Los Angeles school board failed to reappoint Stuart Magruder, the appointee of the American Institute of Architects, to its 15-member. Bond Oversight Committee. Magruder was an outspoken critic of Superintendent John Deasy’s decision to use funds from a 25-year bond dedicated to construction and repairs to pay for his purchase of iPads for every student and staff member in the district. The failure to reappoint Magruder set off a firestorm, as he was doing his job, overseeing the use of bond funds. The entire membership of the Bond Oversight Committee signed a letter of protest to the board. Here is a description from Scott Folsom’s blog. He is a member of the Bond Oversight Committee.

ALSO ON THURSDAY, at the Beaudry Boardroom there was bit of dissent about that well-run/voter+taxpayer supported program. The expenditure of those bond funds and all the transperant+accountable oversight was being questioned by the very Oversight Committee the Voters of California and Los Angeles placed to watchdog the process in a Constitutional Amendment, state law, five school bond packages and a Memorandum of Understanding between LAUSD, The Board of Ed and the Oversight Committee. As you read here last week the Board of Ed refused to reappoint a very vocal critic of the superintendent’s iPads effort. A critic, mind you, who had not been successful in quashing the program (and the successful effort to slow the program down was not his alone) – but who had only asked questions about it. Stuart Magruder is one vote and one voice in fifteen – and the Board refuses to re-appoint him.

Magruder’s fiercest critic says that that’s not the reason she led the charge against him – she continues to claim that Magruder’s hidden agenda is to employ architects!

I am just as guilty. I represent an association of parents, teachers and students …and I am big on putting them to work!

NONE OF ANY OF THAT “He Said/She Said” MATTERS. What matters is that a three vote minority of Boardmembers wishes to create a more agreeable Bond Oversight Committee …as in “agrees with them”. When an elected body appoints the folks in charge of overseeing their actions we can toss out any concept of Independent Oversight. We become the LAUSD School Construction Bond Citizen’s Lapdog Committee. We become Monica+ Tamar+ Dr. V+C’s poodles. I don’t think so.

►LETTER: May 29, 2014

Los Angeles Unified School District
333 South Beaudry Avenue, 24th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90017

Dear Board Members:

We, the undersigned members of the LAUSD School Construction Bond Citizens’ Oversight Committee (BOC), urge you to reappoint Stuart Magruder as the representative of the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA/LA) on the BOC.

Mr. Magruder has been properly nominated by the AIA/LA for reappointment and, under the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding (§3.1.8) between the District and the BOC, the Board should reappoint him without hesitation.

Independence of the Bond Oversight Committee is vital to its proper function.

Disagreement with the comments, questions, and votes of a duly appointed member is NOT a valid justification for the Board to refuse to re-appoint that member when they have been properly re-nominated by a designated stakeholder organization. Stated simply, Stuart Magruder should be reappointed as the AIA/LA representative on the BOC as soon as possible.

[This was signed unanimously by the Oversight Committee at Thursday’s meeting.]

Did/will the Wall Street Bankers and Credit Raters note any of this?

What do you think?

LAUSD is sitting on the potential of selling $7+ billion in bonds in the future. We+the market-makers also know LAUSD has $30 billion in identified infrastructure+repair need. Eventually the District will need to go back to the voters …and the grassroots groundswell seems increasingly opposed. In 2012 this regime didn’t dare place a $255 million parcel tax on the November ballot …not just out of fear of defeat – but out of fear it would taint everything else on the ballot.