It’s been a little over seven months since Austin Beutner replaced Michelle King as LAUSD superintendent, and the waters have remained turbulent since Day 1.
Beutner, whose professional history as an investment banker fueled criticisms regarding his qualifications for the position, was almost immediately thrust into a year-long battle between the district and United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), the local public teachers’ union. Neither side has been able to reach an agreement.
LAUSD teachers have pledged to strike starting January 10 if no deal is met, and the district has hired about 400 non-union substitutes in anticipation of the event.
Beutner additionally inherited an ongoing debate regarding charter schools in Los Angeles, an issue that has been pushed to the center of the UTLA negotiations. UTLA and public school proponents argue that charter schools are draining funds that could be used for public campuses and students, and that a cap should be placed on the amount of charters the district allows.
We discuss the union negotiations with Superintendent Beutner, and get his input on where he sees the district going in 2019.
With guest host Kyle Stokes
Austin Beutner, superintendent of Los Angeles Unified School District