Deasy expected to step down as LAUSD superintendent

LAUSD Supt. John Deasy has a strained relationship with the school board.
LAUSD Supt. John Deasy has a strained relationship with the school board.
(Reed Saxon / Associated Press)

Embattled L.A. schools Supt. John Deasy is expected to step down after reaching a settlement with the school board, according to a source familiar with the negotiations.

The L.A. Unified school board could name an interim superintendent as early as 10 a.m. Thursday, according to the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because it involved a personnel matter.

Another source said the board was likely to select former Supt. Ramon Cortines to run the district on an interim basis.


As part of the departure agreement, Deasy is expected to receive about 60 days’ pay, or roughly $60,000, sources said. His contract requires a severance payment of only 30 days, even though Deasy was under contract through June 2016.

During his 3 1/2 years at the helm, Deasy, 53, oversaw a continued rise in student performance during a period of financial cuts. But he could not overcome Election Day setbacks, poor relations with teachers and two back-to-back technology debacles.

His supporters credit his leadership for gains in test scores, graduation rates and improved results for students learning English. They also applaud his push for more rigorous evaluations of teachers and principals, for reducing the number of student suspensions and for providing breakfast to students in the classroom.

His detractors focus on such issues as problems with the rollout of a $1.3-billion effort to provide iPads to every student, teacher and campus administrator. Another technology project, a new student records system, malfunctioned this fall. More broadly, critics fault Deasy for a leadership style they say has demoralized teachers and other employees.

Deasy has enjoyed strong support from key civic and business leaders, who urged the Board of Education this week to retain him.

Cortines retired as superintendent of L.A. Unifed in April 2011. He had a long career as a respected educator, but his exit was marred by a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a current district employee. A proposed settlement of that litigation later fell apart.

Cortines, 82, lives in the Pasadena area. If he takes the interim job, it would be his third stint as district leader.

Twitter: @HowardBlume