Michelle King at a board meeting. (Los Angeles Times)
Carson High School

Opinion: Long live Michelle King, former LAUSD superintendent

On Feb. 2, the Los Angeles School District lost a family member, Michelle King. King was the superintendent for two years and had suffered from medical issues during some of her time of service.

According to LA School Report, on Sept. 15, 2017, she felt very sick during a board meeting and soon went on medical leave; in early Jan. 2018, she announced her cancer diagnosis and that the last few months she had been receiving treatment. While on leave, she came to the conclusion that she would retire by June 30, 2018.

King was 57 and did many things for the district, including “forging a partnership with an organization that critics had seen as a potential threat to LAUSD,” an LAist article said. “She also settled a prominent squabble among board members over the school calendar.” 

She was the first African American woman to lead LAUSD, the second largest district in the nation.

“I think everyone who becomes superintendent should go through the ranks Michelle did. She worked her way up [to her position] and I think that is what everyone appreciated from her. Her rankings shows that she truly cares about the students and teachers,” Cheryl Carter Harris from Carson High School said.

The next leader the board chose to replace King’s position, Austin Beutner, has big shoes to fill. Beutner is a former investment banker who has never been a teacher or a school administrator.

Beutner may not have any experience in a school setting but he is determined to make sure students and teachers have the right resources they need to succeed.