In a letter to LAUSD Board of Education members, Supt. Austin Beutner said he would step down after his contract expired on June 30, according to L.A. Times.
Under Beutner’s supervision, LAUSD schools started in-person instruction last week with a phased reopening and COVID-19 regulations in place, including temperature checks, spaced out desks and staggered class times.
“As the son of a public-school teacher and the product of a great public education, it has been an honor to serve as Superintendent of Los Angeles Unified for the past three years,” Beutner said in the letter. “I believe that it is fitting that a new superintendent should have the privilege of welcoming students back to school in the fall. I respectfully request that my contract end as planned on June 30. In the meantime, I will remain focused on the task of ensuring that schools reopen in the safest way possible while helping in a seamless leadership transition.”
Beutner served as superintendent for three years and did not explain why he decided to step down, but said he did say he believes his successor could be found from within the district.
“I believe the next superintendent of Los Angeles Unified can be found amongst the current team and she or he will be well placed to continue the progress at this critical time,” Beutner said in the letter. “The leadership ranks of Los Angeles Unified have never been stronger and I know you share my gratitude for the commitment of the women and men who answer the call to serve in public education.”
LAUSD is the largest school district in California and was among the first to comply with state standards and get approved for reopening by L.A. Public Health. Beutner was at the forefront of finding a balance between in-person and online instruction for those who did not feel safe returning and helped collaborate with the Los Angeles Rams to open a COVID-19 vaccination site dedicated to vaccinating school personnel.
“We would like to thank Superintendent Austin Beutner for his three years of dedicated service to the students and families of LA Unified,” The LAUSD board said in a statement. “We are particularly grateful for his unwavering leadership during the extraordinary challenges facing our school district during the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of that pandemic response, LA Unified has served more than 120 million meals to students and families in need, provided devices and internet connectivity to every student, provided COVID tests and vaccinations for the school community and has safely begun reopening our school campuses to in-person learning for the first time in more than a year. Superintendent Beutner was instrumental in providing these essential services to our communities at this challenging time.”