Following a frenzy of budget cuts and rapid changes to a struggling school system, Los Angeles Unifed School District Superintendent Ray Cortines announced Wednesday to the Daily News that he plans to retire next spring.
“I'm tired,” he told the newspaper.
Cortines, who assumed the post in 2009 after previous Superintendent David L. Brewer was bought out by the board of education for a whopping $517,500, was forced to cut more than $1.5 billion from the district's budget in wake of state-wide economic troubles.
Cortines was Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's choice for the top job at the LAUSD at a time when the city leader was trying to exert control over the district.
LAUSD board member Steve Zimmer credited Cortines for singularly holding the district together through economic and political storms.
“I don't know anyone else who can do that,” he said of Cortines.
The school district is expected to hold a nation-wide search for Cortines' successor.
Cortines has already moved to a smaller office space, ceding his previous desk to Deputy Superintendent John Deasy, who expected to move in on August 2nd.
“I have to lay the groundwork for transition…,” Cortines said. “This district needs to have continuity, flexibility, accountability.”