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LAUSD board votes to buy out superintendent's contract

On a split vote in a closed session today, L.A. Unified's board of education voted to buy out Superintendent David Brewer's contract. KPCC's Adolfo Guzman-Lopez has the story.

Adolfo Guzman-Lopez: All seven school board members emerged from the closed meeting. School Board Secretariat Jefferson Crain read a motion by board president Monica Garcia.

Jefferson Crain: With gratitude to superintendent David L. Brewer for his commitment to children, hard work, and dedication to our district and to acknowledge his request for the board to buy out his contract, Ms. Garcia moved that the board take action to exercise the buyout provision under clause 20A of his contract.
Guzman-Lopez: Board members Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte and Julie Korenstein voted no. Korenstein considered the buyout a misuse of public funds.

After the meeting, outside board chambers, President Garcia repeated what the motion had said. She added that the school district needs instructional improvements – and new leadership to prepare for looming budget cuts.

Monica Garcia: We understand that we need to continue to grow the gains that we've made and accelerate systemic change throughout the district. Thank you.

Guzman-Lopez: Garcia didn't answer waiting reporters' questions. Earl Ofari Hutchinson, president of the Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable, says people still have a lot of questions about how the district will proceed.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson: Without revealing what exactly, specifically you judged Brewer on, I don't think it's unreasonable, what's the general criteria that you would judge any superintendent on.

Guzman-Lopez: Hutchinson's said the school board should have allowed Brewer to finish his four-year contract. He attributed the superintendent's ouster to the board's failure to set clear expectations. Brewer was the wrong fit, Hutchinson said, and he added that the school board should not repeat that mistake when it appoints a successor.