SFUSD superintendent decides to retire

SFUSD superintendent decides to retire

March 14, 2012 5:29:26 PM PDT
The head of San Francisco's public schools is stepping down. Carlos Garcia calls his five years as superintendent the best of his career, but he's decided to retire. ABC7 News looks into what this means for California's seventh largest school district.

The district won't see huge changes. In the past, there has been a nationwide search for a superintendent. This time, the board seems to be behind Garcia's right-hand man, who shares many of his ideas.

"We have a lot of work ahead of us. I may be a lame duck, but I'm not a dead duck," said Garcia.

Garcia has less than four months to work on some pending issues like a contract deal with teachers is still in the works and then there's the controversy over teacher layoffs. Nearly 500 teachers will be notified by Thursday, March 15 of potential layoffs. However, Garcia and the school board decided to skip layoffs for 70 teachers in 14 low achieving schools.

"We've invested almost $2 million in training those teachers, so we owe it to them. They are showing double-digit growth in some of those schools in student achievement. That's the kind of people our children need," said Garcia.

That's something the teachers union opposes.

"This creates discord and disunity. Teachers against teachers, students against students because it means some students will have their teachers by preference and others will not," said Susan Solomon form the United Educators of San Francisco.

Garcia says during these last months, he will work on the financial stability of the district which could face a $119 million budget deficit over the next two years. Still, he leaves behind a district which has seen a steady increase in test scores and gains among most minorities.

In a move not seen in decades, the district has selected someone internally to take over. Deputy superintendent Richard Carranza is expected to get the board's approval.

"Making sure that all children in our community have not only the opportunity, but the path to be successful in life," said Carranza.

"We don't want to start over. We want to discuss with you the things we think are good, the resources we bring to you, the foundation building we've had and build on that and keep going," said Jill Wynns with the San Francisco Board of Education.

The board and Carranza will begin negotiations and a decision is expected in about two months, but basically it's a done deal. Garcia is scheduled to leave his post on July 5th.

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