LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The Los Angeles Board of Education on Tuesday moved to extend Superintendent John Deasy’s contract to 2016, days after a published report said he would resign.
The surprising announcement came after a roughly six-hour closed-door meeting.
“The Board of Education gave the superintendent a satisfactory performance evaluation, which extends the term of his employment contract through June 30, 2016 pursuant to the terms of that contract,” LAUSD General Counsel David Holmquist said after a closed-door meeting that lasted nearly six hours.
A few members of the audience expressed anger and disbelief as the decision was read. Most sat in stunned silence as Deasy and school board President Richard Vladovic, known to have had a rocky relationship, made brief statements pledging cooperation and teamwork.
“I thank the board very much for a good and robust evaluation,” Deasy said. “I particularly thank you for a really excellent and honest conversation on building the rapport to work together so that we can continue to lift youth out of poverty. I’m very proud, as you all were, of what we have done for students and what we’re going to continue to do for students, and I look forward to us as a team continuing to advocate on behalf of the students of this amazing city.”
“This has been a journey for all of us, and we’re focused on the children,” Vladovic said. “We are moving forward and the board took action tonight.”
It is unclear what the impact was of the organized demonstrations in support of Deasy outside and inside the school board meeting.
The public comment portion of the meeting saw words of support for Deasy in both English and Spanish. Of the 16 speakers, three were critical of the superintendent.
“It would be a great tragedy if Dr. Deasy is not given the opportunity to continue to lead this district,” one supporter said.
A letter from 20 civic leaders also urged school board members to compromise and negotiate a deal that would keep Deasy in Los Angeles.
Mayor Eric Garcetti, a Deasy supporter, was against a leadership change in the middle of the school year.
“It would have a devastating effect on our children,” he said.