Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Ramon Cortines resigned Thursday from the board of a private company that provides reading programs in LAUSD middle and high schools, saying he wanted to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest.
Cortines has been on the board of Scholastic Inc. since 1995. He said his work with the company was disclosed to the school board before he was hired by the district. His resignation will be effective Friday.
The Los Angeles Times reported last week that Cortines earned compensation worth more than $150,000 from Scholastic last year. Through its operation of reading programs, Scholastic earned more than $5.2 million from the LAUSD since Cortines joined the district in April 2008, The Times reported.
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"Although my duties as a member of the board of Scholastic Inc. never conflicted with my role as LAUSD superintendent, I am cognizant of public perception and the role it plays in supporting our mission as professional educators to move this district forward in preparing our students to be college- prepared and career-ready," Cortines said.
Cortines' salary with the LAUSD is $250,000 a year.
"While I enjoyed my role as a member of the Scholastic board and felt I made a significant contribution to education in America, my role as the LAUSD superintendent is far too important to allow any misperceptions regarding my role with Scholastic to interfere with providing our students with the best in public education," Cortines said.