Beutner’s calendar: ‘Secrecy, wealth, and privilege are not qualities we want in our superintendent’

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Beutner’s calendar: ‘Secrecy, wealth, and privilege are not qualities we want in our superintendent’

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It took legal action to force LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner to make his calendar public—and now we know why he tried to keep it a secret. While Beutner fights teachers on UTLA’s contract proposals to reinvest in our schools, he has been holding a series of meetings at pricey restaurants and conversations with wealthy privatizers and questionable organizations. From May 2018 to September 2018, Beutner was more likely to hold a meeting at a restaurant than to visit a school.

 

“Beutner, a public official who is paid $350,000 a year, first told us that his schedule was not public,” said Victoria Casas, a teacher at Beachy Elementary. “Then, and only through the threat of a lawsuit and a personally damaging story in the LA Times, was he compelled to produce his calendar. The fact he felt he could deny the request speaks volumes about how he views public requests for information: With contempt and animosity.”

 

 

Some highlights of Beutner’s schedule from May 18 through September 18: six meetings at the Pacific Dining Car and five meetings at the members-only California Club. The California Club only began admitting women in 1987 and admitted its first African-American member in 1988.

“Secrecy, wealth, and privilege are not qualities we want in our superintendent,” says Erika Jones, teacher and UTLA Board member. “Superintendent Austin Beutner must be reminded of a simple truth: You work for the students and families of this school district. Not for the billionaires. Not for wealthy Wall Street bankers. Not for the power elites of this city.”