Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Austin Beutner announced on April 21 that he will be stepping down when his current contract expires on June 30.
Beutner has led the LAUSD since May 2018 and is credited with successfully guiding the district through a teachers strike in 2019 and school closures in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. He announced his intention to step down in a letter to the LAUSD Board of Education and said June 30 gives a new superintendent time to prepare for the upcoming 2021-22 school year.
“As the son of a public school teacher and the product of a great public education, it has been an honor to serve as superintendent of Los Angeles Unified for the past three years. It is the most rewarding job I’ve held during my nearly 40-year career. That sentiment guided my thinking as I weighed your request to consider an extension of my contract. I reflected on the shared lessons and significant progress of the past three years. We have built a foundation to enable Los Angeles Unified’s dedicated teachers, hard-working staff and engaged board to continue on the path to recovery for children and provide them with the education and opportunity they deserve,” Beutner’s letter read. “I believe that it is fitting that a new superintendent should have the privilege of welcoming students back to school in the fall. I respectfully request that my contract end as planned on June 30. In the meantime, I will remain focused on the task of ensuring that schools reopen in the safest way possible while helping in a seamless leadership transition. I believe the next superintendent of Los Angeles Unified can be found amongst the current team and she or he will be well placed to continue the progress at this critical time.”
Beutner, 61, did not disclose a specific reason for departing the LAUSD. The Board of Education thanked Beutner and reiterated its commitment to public education.
“We would like to thank Superintendent Austin Beutner for his three years of dedicated service to the students and families of L.A. Unified. We are particularly grateful for his unwavering leadership during the extraordinary challenges facing our school district during the COVID-19 pandemic,” read a statement from the board. “As part of that pandemic response, L.A. Unified has served more than 120 million meals to students and families in need, provided devices and internet connectivity to every student, provided COVID tests and vaccinations for the school community and has safely begun reopening our school campuses to in-person learning for the first time in more than a year. Superintendent Beutner was instrumental in providing these essential services to our communities at this challenging time.”
Board members also acted quickly to ensure a smooth transition. They appointed Megan K. Reilly, who has served as the district’s deputy superintendent of business services and operations since 2019, as the new interim superintendent.
“Superintendent [Beutner] will continue to work diligently to support our students and schools through the planned end of his term on June 30,” read the LAUSD Board of Education’s statement. “While we are disappointed that he will not continue to serve as superintendent past that date, we sincerely wish him and his family all the best. The board remains committed to providing a high-quality public education to every child in Los Angeles and, as part of that work, will embark on a robust and equitable search process to find our next leader.”
For information, visit laused.net.
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