Los Angeles Unified School District Supt. Michelle King, whose four-month medical leave left a leadership gap at a school system facing challenges on numerous fronts, won’t return to her position and plans to retire later this year, sources said Friday.
King’s move will allow the new Board of Education, which last year for the first time became controlled by supporters of charter schools, to select a new leader to run the nation’s second-largest school district.
Her decision to step down came amid growing questions about when she would be returning and demands that the school district be more clear about her condition. Some, both inside and outside the district, expressed concern about the district’s direction in her absence.
King has been on medical leave for an undisclosed condition since September. In her most recent public communication, in October, King had said she would return “after the first of the year.” She was more specific in a confidential December communication to the Board of Education, saying she’d be back Jan. 22, according to sources who were not authorized to speak for the district.