The Los Angeles school board has appointed former investment banker Austin Beutner as superintendent of nation's second-largest school district.
The district says the selection is the result of a nationwide search that began when Superintendent Michelle King announced her retirement earlier this year.
Beutner, 58, is a former deputy mayor of Los Angeles and a former publisher of The Los Angeles Times. He also is the founder of Vision to Learn, a nonprofit organization which has provided youth across the nation with vision screenings, eye exams, and glasses.
“Superintendent-designate Beutner will lead a team to accelerate the movement toward 100 percent graduation in collaboration with the committed professionals and community partners that serve our children and families,” says School Board President Mónica García.
CBS Los Angeles reports that the school board voted 5 to 2 to hire Beutner despite concerns regarding his lack of experience in the education field.
Beutner served on a school district Advisory Task Force created under King to help meet goals in the district’s strategic plan and “to foster a culture of change in which we identify opportunities and embrace solutions to close the achievement gap.”
Vivian Ekchian has been serving as interim superintendent of the district since King went on medical leave in September and subsequently decided to retire.
Beutner and Ekchian were the final two candidates standing in a competition that was initially narrowed to four people.
The new superintendent also made a run for mayor in 2012, but his campaign never caught on and he dropped out early.
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