FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are Pilot Schools and what is their purpose?
The Pilot Schools are a network of public schools that have autonomy over budget, staffing, governance, curriculum & assessment, and the school calendar. These autonomies allow them to operate with greater flexibility in order to meet their students' needs. Pilot Schools were created to be models of educational innovation and to serve as research and development sites for effective urban public schools.
How do Pilot Schools work?
- Pilot Schools are exempt from District policies and mandates.
- Teachers voluntarily choose to work in Pilot Schools; they sign an Election-to-Work Agreement (EWA), which stipulates work conditions for the school for the coming school year. Teachers remain members of the union.
- Pilot Schools have a governing board called the Governing School Council (GSC) which has increased authority over traditional school councils. The GSC sets the school's vision, selects and annualy evaluates the principal (with the ISIC Superintendent having the final authority), determines the annual EWA terms for the teaching staff, and approves the annual budget.
Are these charter schools?
Pilot Schools are not charter schools, but have many autonomy elements similar to charters within LAUSD, such as freedom from District policies, greater responsibility to manage their own budgets, design their own school plans, and select their own certificated staff. School staff that work in Pilot Schools remain LAUSD employees and are still represented by their respective unions.
Are Pilot Schools still part of LAUSD?
Yes, all Pilot Schools are part of LAUSD and receive support and services as well from their Education Service Center. All Pilot Schools are under the Intensive Support and Innovation Center (ISIC).
Do Pilot Schools still have to comply with State and Federal mandates?
Yes, all LAUSD schools, including Pilot Schools, must comply with State and Federal mandates, court orders, and consent decrees. They must also comply with State and Federal requirements for specially funded or mandated programs, and categorical programs. The GSC must have the state mandated membership composition of the School Site Council (SSC) for budget decisions concerning categorical funds, in alignment with the school's Single Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA).