LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Los Angeles Unified School District Supt. Austin Beutner announced Wednesday he will be stepping down from his position when his contract expires on June 30.
"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," Beutner said in a statement.
"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."
"And so 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," he said.
Beutner has lead LAUSD, the nation's second-largest school district, through the COVID-19 pandemic.
When CBSLA's Pat Harvey asked Beutner why he chose now to leave the district, he responded saying, "We've done what we needed to do to reopen schools in the safest way possible. I think we're setting a new standard for the nation with how safe it is in our schools, and throughout this pandemic, we've provided meals, we've provided computers and internet access, COVID tests and now vaccinations, so as the community comes together, as we reopen schools, as we see those smiling faces, this is the time to transition."
He continued, "We've got a great leadership team in place and I'm confident they'll continue the progress."
Following the announcements, the Los Angeles Unified Board of Education released a statement saying:
"We would like to thank Superintendent Austin Beutner for his three years of dedicated service to the students and families of LA Unified. We are particularly grateful for his unwavering leadership during the extraordinary challenges facing our school district during the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of that pandemic response, LA 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."
"The Superintendent will continue to work diligently to support our students and schools through the planned end of his term on June 30. 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."
Beutner has been LAUSD's superintendent since May 2018.
United Teachers Los Angeles, the union which represents the tens of thousands of LAUSD teachers, released the following statement from its president, Cecily Myart-Cruz.
"We hope the pool of candidates will be pro-public education and can be publicly vetted by a panel of educators, parents, and community members. This global pandemic has laid bare the deep inequities of our society and amplified the essential role public schools play in our communities. We call for a superintendent who is committed to a robust, fully resourced public school system that serves all our communities equitably."
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