He’s an ‘unconventional choice,’ but new LAUSD chief asks community to embrace change, better education

May 3, 2018 by

Los Angeles Unified School District’s next superintendent warned Wednesday of tough choices ahead while aiming to strike a unifying tone in the face of significant union concerns.

Philanthropist Austin Beutner, who has no experience running a school or a school district, acknowledged a day after he was tapped by the LAUSD Board of Education that he’s an “unconventional choice.”

But the former investment banker and one-time deputy mayor of L.A. said he’s ready to listen, learn and move forward together to unlock the district’s “enormous potential.”

“A commitment to change and a better education in our community has to be embraced by everyone in LA – not just those with kids in L.A. Unified and not just those who work in L.A. Unified,” the soft-spoken Beutner, 58, said at a news conference at Belmont High School on Wednesday.

The process should include civic leaders, grassroots organizations as well as the philanthropic and faith-based communities, he said.

The nation’s second largest school system has been challenged with financial issues, years of declining enrollment, aging facilities, a number of under-performing schools and pervasive achievement gaps.

Members of LAUSD’s Board of Education have spoken about these challenges “ad-nauseum” but without sufficient action, LAUSD Board Vice President Nick Melvoin said at the news conference.

Source: He’s an ‘unconventional choice,’ but new LAUSD chief asks community to embrace change, better education – Daily News

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