The Los Angeles Unified School district is the second-largest in the nation, serving roughly 650,000 students every year. It is also a tough population: many of these students are poor, minority or just learning English.

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Behind charter donors' decision to help LAUSD schools expand

In late January, a mere three weeks into her tenure as Los Angeles Unified School District's superintendent, Michelle King welcomed two surprising guests into her office: representatives of the non-profit group that sprouted from the controversial "Great Public Schools Now" plan.