LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Monday marked the first day for interim LAUSD Superintendent Ramon C. Cortines.
Cortines, who does not yet have a signed contract with the board, replaces Dr. John Deasy, who resigned Thursday. The 82-year-old will serve as Superintendent of Schools pending a search process for Deasy’s successor.
“Nothing in life is permanent, but there is no ‘interim’ in my title,” Cortines said Monday. “I’m the superintendent.”
KNX 1070’s Margaret Carrero reports Deasy, 53, whose contract ran through 2016, will remain on special assignment with the district until Dec. 31.
Deasy replaced Cortines as superintendent in 2011 after working for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He also worked as a head of districts in Maryland and Rhode Island and the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District from 2001 to 2006.
The 53-year-old and United Teachers Los Angeles, the union that represents LAUSD educators, repeatedly clashed during his tenure over teacher pay and classroom size.
His time as head of the nation’s second-largest school district has been mired in controversy over the LAUSD’s $1 billion iPad program, and most recently, the launch of the MiSiS scheduler.
In response, Cortines pledged to “find out the extent” of the MiSiS problem and “put together a team to solve the problem.”
Further, members say Deasy, as superintendent, isolated himself, and made decisions without consulting anyone, including the board.
Cortines previously led school systems in New York City, San Francisco, Pasadena and San Jose and was a special adviser to U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley from 1995-97.
He said that he hopes to rebuild a sense of teamwork in the district, and went on to note that had the board not unanimously voted him into the position for his third overall term, he wouldn’t be where he is.
“You know, I called the bluff. I did not expect to be here, because the board has not voted unanimous on much,” Cortines said. “A superintendent is not the answer in this district. It is team-building, and it’s people coming together to solve problems.”
The board is expected to ratify a contract on Tuesday, which, according to the district, gives Cortines the title of Superintendent through June 30, 2015, with a salary of $300,000.
(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)
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