L.A. Unified Board of Education names Austin Beutner to accelerate college and career readiness in the nation’s second-largest school district

LOS ANGELES (May 1, 2018) – The L.A. Unifed Board of Education today voted to approve Austin Beutner as superintendent of schools.

Superintendent-designate Beutner most recently co-led the L.A. Unified Advisory Task Force with SEIU Local 2015 President Laphonza Butler, and is the founder of Vision to Learn, a nonprofit organization which has helped more than 100,000 youth across the nation improve their learning outcomes with vision screenings, eye exams, and glasses.

As the 14th publisher and CEO of the Los Angeles Times, the organization launched the High School Insider initiative to give students a voice in their community.

His selection caps a nationwide search that began upon the retirement announcement of Superintendent Michelle King.

“It is my distinct honor and privilege to take on the responsibility to lead the L.A. Unified School District; a complex, diverse organization, full of students bursting with potential,” said Superintendent-designate Beutner. 

He continued with an emphasis toward the future: “These young women and men are the future of our community, and every policy we adopt and every decision we make must be with the sole focus of doing everything we can to provide them with the best education possible. I look forward to working with the school board, parents, employees, labor partners, and the community to build on the progress that has been made at L.A. Unified, to address the challenges we face, and to deliver on our promise to our students.”

“Superintendent-designate Beutner will lead a team to accelerate the movement toward 100 percent graduation in collaboration with the committed professionals and community partners that serve our children and families. Our record graduation rate of 80 percent is possible because we worked with bold and optimistic stakeholders demanding a high-quality education for every child regardless of their ZIP code or starting point,” said L.A. Unified School Board President Mónica García. “L.A. Unified is an amazing engine of prosperity where our primary contribution to society is teaching children how to read, write, think, and believe.”

As the longest serving board president, she continued: “Our collective effort must be to embrace the system changes necessary for greater access, equity, and excellence for each child, in every classroom, in every school. This will require great financial and political efforts to enroll inside and outside stakeholders in the vision of 100 percent graduation where all students are ready for college, career, and life. This is our time to set the path for the next 50 years. We welcome all to help us model unity for our children. We have made progress and there is more to do to see all children reach their potential.”

“We need new, creative solutions to tackle old, seemingly intractable problems. Austin Beutner is the right person at this time to help us forge a new path for success in a climate of financial uncertainty, pervasive achievement gaps, and severe underfunding of our public schools. Whether it was at the city, the L.A. Times, a nonprofit, or the private sector, Superintendent-designate Beutner has proven his willingness to lead in difficult circumstances,” said School Board Vice President Nick Melvoin. “To ensure success for our kids, adults must acknowledge that the status quo is not working. I’m excited to work with our new superintendent and my colleagues to bring new thinking to stale challenges and accelerate achievement for all our kids.”

“I wish to congratulate Austin Beutner on his selection as our superintendent,” said School Board Member Dr. Richard Vladovic. “I am sure our new superintendent will have his work cut out to address myriad challenges confronting our district; such as rising health costs, addressing the needs of our labor partners, and most importantly to continue to improve our instructional program to ensure our children are competitive in this ever changing world.”

“My ultimate hope is that the new superintendent will collaborate with the board in our pursuit of excellence for all L.A. Unified students,” said School Board Member Dr. Ref Rodriguez.


Jose Antonio Vargas, journalist, filmmaker, and the founder of Define American, a non-profit organization that fights anti-immigrant hate said: “Austin has a vision to create pathways to opportunity for all communities, which is what L.A. Unified needs now. He works to understand the needs of communities, and I know he will advocate for all students in Los Angeles so they have an equal chance to learn and grow in our public schools. This is an exciting moment for the future of public education in Los Angeles.”

“Austin will be a great leader for the District and I applaud the board for selecting him.  We, in the philanthropic community, are ready to stand with him and district leadership to support their vision for children from all communities in Los Angeles,” said Dr. Robert Ross, president and CEO, The California Endowment. “Public education must work for every student and family—Austin will be committed to understanding our communities and crafting solutions that best meet their needs. He will make the district better for all who enter its school doors, putting students on a pathway to a bright future.”

Antonia Hernández, president and CEO of The California Community Foundation applauded today’s action. “Austin is a proven leader, who is committed to expanding access to opportunities for underserved communities of color, particularly children.

Our philanthropic communities are excited to support his vision as he gets to work. He understands the power of public education to move generations forward, and he is exactly what L.A. Unified needs to propel our school district to be a leader in public education nationally. I know he will work tirelessly to bring communities together to collaborate so that every student is given the best education possible to reach their full potential.”

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 Contacts:

Isidro Armenta (President García)
(213) 241-6180
Isidro.Armenta@lausd.net

Shannon Haber (LAUSD Communications)
(213) 241-6766
communications@lausd.net