LAUSD’s school board can begin superintendent search; Ekchian is named interim head

LA Unified’s school board can begin the search for a new superintendent immediately, the district’s lead attorney said Tuesday, and the board president said members will hold weekly discussions as they move to bring stability to a district that has had nine superintendents in 20 years.

The school board held its first meeting of the new year without any public discussion of Superintendent Michelle King’s announcement last week that she will retire or what the next steps might be. But in a closed sessionlater Tuesday afternoon, the seven-member board unanimously decided to name acting superintendent Vivian Ekchian as interim superintendent.

“We had a very substantial conversation, and the board decided we would talk about this weekly as we figure out the next steps in the search process,” said board President Mónica García after the closed session.

Last Friday, King announced that she will retire when her contract runs out at the end of June, remaining on medical leave until then, and that cancer is the reason she has been out since September. García, who said she has met with King, said she heard much well-wishing as she toured schools on Monday. “There was a flood of humanity and concern for Dr. King’s well-being,” she said.

LA Unified General Counsel David Holmquist confirmed in an email that “the board is free to begin a search immediately.” He noted that King would need to apply to the California State Teachers’ Retirement System prior to her retirement in order for it to become effective. Click here to read more: