Austin Beutner, a philanthropist and former investment banker, on Tuesday was named superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation's second-largest school system.
His selection was the biggest move yet by a Los Angeles school board majority elected with major support from charter school advocates. The decision came after lengthy public testimony, most of it in support of the other remaining finalist, interim Supt. Vivian Ekchian, who is well known within the school system.
Beutner, 58, has no background leading a school or school district. Less than 2½ years ago, a school board with a very different balance of power named Michelle King, a former teacher who rose through the district throughout her career, to L.A. Unified's top job.
King announced in January that she had cancer and would retire. She had been on medical leave, with no details made public since September.
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