Likely candidate in LAUSD superintendent search pulls out

San Francisco Unified Superintendent Richard Carranza.
San Francisco Unified Superintendent Richard Carranza.
Courtesy of Richard Carranza

One of the top candidates in the job search for superintendent of the L.A. Unified School District said on Monday he’s staying put.

San Francisco Unified spokeswoman Gentle Blythe said that Superintendent Richard Carranza is withdrawing his name from consideration for the L.A. Unified top job.

Carranza was seen by people inside and outside L.A. Unified as a likely pick for superintendent because of his experience in San Francisco, his experience as a school teacher, and his Latino background that would have given him a deeper connection with the predominantly Latino student body at LAUSD.

The superintendent search is confidential. His exit comes as L.A. Unified’s seven board of education members are in the final stages of their superintendent search.

“The announcement of Superintendent Carranza does not affect our timeline in any way at all,” said L.A. Unified School Board President Steve Zimmer.

“Our timeline is entirely about making sure that we do all of our due diligence and engagement in what truly is one of the most important decisions that any school board will make in this country.”

Zimmer would not reveal who the remaining finalists  are or how many finalists are left.

The school board has been interviewing candidates for nearly a month. Board President Steve Zimmer had said last year that the school board wanted a new superintendent in place this week, but ended the calendar year with no new leader named. Chief Deputy Superintendent Michelle King, also widely speculated to be in the running for the top job, is running the district until a new superintendent is in place. 

Carranza's decision to stay is good news for San Francisco Unified, school officials there said. "That’s what we think,” said San Francisco Unified Board of Education member Jill Wynns in an email.

“I know that the work he has engaged with in San Francisco is urgent and is important,” Zimmer said.

Zimmer and the rest of the L.A. Unified school board are scheduled to meet on Tuesday at 9 a.m. to deliberate about the search for a new superintendent.