L.A. schools superintendent resigns position at Scholastic


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Los Angeles Unified School District Supt. Ramon C. Cortines has resigned from the board of publisher Scholastic Inc. Cortines, who makes $250,000 annually in his position as schools superintendent, earned an additional $150,000 last year from Scholastic, which does business with LAUSD. LA Now reports:

Cortines’ dual role with the company and the district received scrutiny in the wake of an article on that subject last week in The Times. In defending his position with Scholastic in a recent interview, Cortines said he avoided any issue at the district involving the leading educational publishing company. And his senior staff said this recusal included any decision involving academic intervention programs. Scholastic provides the district’s primary reading intervention program for high schools. And, as of this year, Scholastic’s program also became a key component for middle schools. The company has earned more than $5.2 million from the L.A. Unified School District since Cortines joined the school system as its No. 2 administrator in April 2008. He became superintendent in December 2008.

Although Scholastic and some of Cortines’ colleagues saw no conflict -- school board president Monica Garcia told The Times, ‘I never met a person with more integrity than Ray Cortines’ -- others saw things differently. Cortines began serving on the Scholastic board in 1995, the year he stepped down as chancellor of New York City Schools. Read more about his resignation here.


-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Ramon Cortines, right, working on the LAUSD 2010-11 budget in December. Credit: Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press