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JUST IN: LAUSD opens door to ‘acting/interim’ superintendent

LA School Report | December 17, 2015

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Michelle King superintendentThe LA Unified school board is meeting later today in open and closed sessions, and one of the items on the agenda appears to suggest that the members may appoint a temporary superintendent until they decide on a permanent successor to Ramon Cortines.

The closed session agenda includes “Unrepresented Employee: Superintendent or Acting/Interim Superintendent of Schools,” an item that would seem to make sense, given the time of year and pace of the search process.

In recent weeks, the board has been narrowing the list of candidates to a few and conducting final vetting. While it’s possible the search could reach a conclusion this month, with an announcement of the new district leader as early as next week, it would now seem more likely that by naming a place-holder, the board eases pressure on itself and puts the announcement off until early January.

It would also leave the district in safe hands as the winter break approaches. After tomorrow, classroom instruction closes down for three weeks, and the district’s administrative offices for two.

If the plan is, indeed, to name an interim, the most likely candidate is Michelle King, who was chief deputy to Cortines. King had raised her hand last year to fill in as superintendent after the resignation of John Deasy. Cortines’s quick return made the gesture unnecessary.

Telling, too, was King’s brief appearance at the microphone during final news conference on Tuesday when the district announced that schools would reopen the next day, following a clean sweep of campuses after an email threat of violence.

As she spoke, Cortines stood quietly in a crowd of officials behind her.


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