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LAUSD appears ready to name Cortines interim superintendent

Vanessa Romo | October 16, 2014

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Ray Cortines

Ray Cortines

Ray Cortines appears  to be returning to lead LA Unified for a third time.

With John Deasy resigning, Cortines was chosen unanimously by the seven member board, a condition Cortines insisted upon before agreeing to take the helm of the district, according to sources who were made aware of the board’s decision.

An official announcement is expected sometime today.

Cortines, 82, served for a brief stint in 2000 before landing the position permanently in 2009, following David Brewer’s swift and expensive departure. Ironically, it was Cortines who handed the baton in 2011 to Superintendent John Deasy, who was his deputy at the time.

Shortly after stepping down, his reputation was marred by scandal when a former LA Unified senior manager sued him, charging sexual harassment.

Cortines was Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s choice for the post in 2009, and under his direction, the district developed the “public school choice” model, which allowed a proliferation of charter schools to set up shop in the district. That put him at odds with several board members who opposed charter school growth.

He also steered the district through the first three years of the financial crisis, cutting a staggering $1.5 billion from the budget and massive layoffs. About 2,700 teachers and 4,900 other employees lost their jobs during that period.

Cortines has lead four other school districts: San Francisco, San Jose, Pasadena and New York City.

LA School Report incorrectly reported last night that Deasy’s deputy, Michelle King, would be named the interim, while a permanant replacement is sought.

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