New LAUSD superintendent predicts change

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- New LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner, a former investment banker, has described his selection as an unconventional choice, and now adds his appointment is a referendum for change.

Speaking on Eyewitness Newsmakers, Beutner talked about hard choices ahead with limited resources. At the same time, he said the district has to get more resources and money to classrooms and to teachers.

After the May 18 Texas school schooting, the superintendent posted a message on the district website, assuring parents campus security is being looked into. He would not be specific about metal detectors and brick walls, but he was firm in saying, "We shouldn't be arming teachers."

The LAUSD teachers union is predicting it can get a strike authorization vote in the fall. Beutner said teaching is the most undervalued profession in our country, but there are "resource constraints." He also said at $15,000, there is not enough being spent per student.

Saying he's "not an idealogue," Beutner avoided the charter school question. LAUSD has 500,000 students in public school and 100,000 students in charter public schools -- more than anywhere else in the country. The superintendent said it's not a question of "charter, no charter" -- it's about a great education.

Superintendent Beutner is awaiting a task force report on LAUSD's finances. He wants the budget rewritten without jargon so it is easier for anyone to understand through transparency.
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