Austin Beutner is named superintendent as board members choose strong leadership to tackle LAUSD's deep academic and fiscal challenges
May 2, 2018
The elected leaders of Los Angeles’s public schools sent a strong signal Tuesday that LA needs bold leadership, choosing Los Angeles businessman Austin Beutner as superintendent of schools.
Beutner is both an insider and an outsider. He has deep ties in Los Angeles and a demonstrated commitment to civic service. The former investment banker served as first deputy mayor of Los Angeles, then moved across the street from City Hall to the Los Angeles Times as publisher and CEO. He currently co-leads a task force on LA Unified but does not have an education background, yet he brings financial acumen, political savvy, and negotiation skills.
The choice shows that board members are ready to shake up the district, picking Beutner over Interim Superintendent Vivian Ekchian, who, like her predecessor Michelle King, has spent her career in the district as an educator and administrator. It also reflects an urgent need to improve LA’s public schools while staving off weakening finances that could put LA Unified under state control within two years.
Reflecting divisions on the board, the vote was 5-2, with Scott Schmerelson and George McKenna voting against Beutner.Read More