The Los Angeles Board of Education is poised to select philanthropist and former investment banker Austin Beutner to be the next superintendent of the nation’s second-largest school system.
Barring a last-minute development, the only mystery is whether Beutner emerges with four or five votes from the board’s seven members. Terms of his contract already have been under discussion, according to sources close to the process who requested anonymity because they are not authorized to speak.
The selection of Beutner, 58, who has no experience managing a school or a school district, would be a signal that the board majority that took control nearly a year ago wants to rely on business management skills instead of insider educational expertise.
L.A. Unified has serious financial problems. The district faces rising pension costs, vastly underfunded retiree health benefits and union pressure to raise salaries — all as declining enrollment is draining financial resources.
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