Former Mayoral Candidate and L.A. Times Publisher Austin Beutner a Contender for LAUSD Superintendent

Former investment banker Austin Beutner has become a leading candidate for superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District. But questions have emerged about the performance of the nonprofit he founded. (Credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Former investment banker Austin Beutner has become a leading candidate for superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District. But questions have emerged about the performance of the nonprofit he founded. (Credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Austin Beutner has emerged as a leading contender to run the Los Angeles school district, with backers saying he is smart enough and tough enough to confront its financial and academic struggles.

Though he does not have a background in education, the former investment banker has in the last year examined some of the district’s intractable problems, serving as co-chair of an outside task force with the support of then-Supt. Michelle King.

Sources inside and outside the school district said Beutner appears to have more support on the seven-member board than other finalists, and his name could come up for a vote as early as Tuesday.

But with the choice looming, board members last week received documents from the district’s general counsel David Holmquist, notifying them that the charity Beutner founded, Vision to Learn, could lose its contract with the L.A. Unified School District. The nonprofit, according to the documents, has fallen far short in its commitment to provide vision screenings and glasses to thousands of low-income students this school year.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.