Ramon Cortines Monday is beginning his third stint at the helm of the Los Angeles Unified School District as he assumes the role of interim superintendent.
Cortines, 82, replaces John Deasy, who submitted his resignation last week. Deasy will remain with the district on “special assignment” until the end of the year.
According to a separation agreement he signed with the district, Deasy will assist with the transition to a new superintendent but will not perform any work for the district unless he is specifically asked to do so.
Deasy became superintendent in 2011, replacing Cortines. Cortines served as superintendent for three years, beginning in 2008. He also served as the district’s interim superintendent in 2000.
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.
Prior to being hired by the LAUSD in 2008, he was Los Angeles deputy mayor for education, youth and families and chaired Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s Partnership for Los Angeles Schools.
The LAUSD is the nation’s second-largest school district, with 640,000 students.
Cortines told the Los Angeles Times last week he hoped to rebuild a sense of teamwork at the district.
“A superintendent doesn’t bring solutions. A team does,” he said. “And it has to be teachers, administrators, cafeteria workers and custodians, the maintenance and operation workers” and board members.
He told the newspaper he would promote Deputy Superintendent Michelle King to the post of chief deputy, but said there were no quick solutions to the problems facing the district — such as the future of the $1.3 billion effort to provide iPads and laptops to all students and staff, and the troubled student-information system MiSiS.
“Some of these issues cannot be solved overnight,” he told The Times.
The LAUSD board is expected to formally approve Cortines’ contract with the district on Tuesday. The contract calls for him to receive an annual salary of $300,000, which is $50,000 less than Deasy’s salary. The employment contract will run through June 30, 2015, but it can be extended or terminated at any time.
—City News Service