New LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner tours district, admits there's a lot to learn

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Newly minted LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner kicked off a district-wide tour Tuesday on his first day on the job.

Beutner began his day well before the sun came up, embarking on a citywide tour of school facilities.

He started at an LAUSD bus yard in Sun Valley, before moving onto various classrooms, meeting with administrators and young children.

Already, he knows there's a lot a handle, including the budget - he wants it in plain English.

"There's a lot of jargon, there's a lot of terms, 'reserves' for instance. I don't know when our family, if we decide to go on vacation, we decide if we have any money in the bank to pay for the trip," Beutner said.

Beutner, who signed a three-year contract, is a former investment banker turned philanthropist.

The now 58-year-old once served as deputy-mayor under Antonio Villaraigosa. In 2014, he was named publisher of the Los Angeles Times. However, he has no experience managing a school district or even a school.

He was asked Tuesday morning about his qualifications.

"If you look at my life experience, I think I understand the needs, I understand how to work in the complex environment," Beutner said.

Beutner is LAUSD's seventh superintendent in 10 years. Leading the nation's second largest public school system is certainly a big job, and Beutner says he's up for the task - while admitting, it's a lot to learn.

"Learning just how to connect schools and community. My job is to make sure the resources are there, make sure they have all the tools they need to support these children and inspire them and help them learn," he said.
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