June 28, 2013
State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Appoints
State Trustee for Inglewood Unified School District
INGLEWOOD—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today appointed Dr. Don Brann as State Trustee for the Inglewood Unified School District.
"Bringing the district back to sound financial footing—so that it can continue serving students and their community—remains my top priority, and Don Brann has the experience and vision to make it happen," Torlakson said. "Dr. Brann will bring decades of sound judgment and strong leadership to the job of helping Inglewood's schools regain local control."
Brann most recently served as Interim Superintendent of the San Gabriel Unified School District. He also serves as Vice President of the Board of Directors of Da Vinci Schools, college-preparatory schools in Hawthorne. For 15 years, he was Superintendent of the Wiseburn School District in Hawthorne. He brings more than 40 years of experience working in California public schools as a classroom teacher, reading specialist, principal, and superintendent in several districts around the state. The Association of California School Administrators has recognized Brann as the region's Superintendent of the Year.
"I'd like to express my appreciation to Superintendent Torlakson for demonstrating his confidence in my ability to work through the issues in Inglewood. I look forward to working with teachers and parents to help Inglewood Unified live up to its potential as a thriving learning community," Brann said. "There are some hard choices ahead, but we can get through them if we work together to rebuild our schools and system."
Torlakson also praised the work of Interim State Administrator La Tanya Kirk-Carter, who had taken on that role temporarily while remaining the district's assistant superintendent for business services.
"Ms. Kirk-Carter has provided considerable expertise in a challenging time," Torlakson said. "She's extremely dedicated to the district and its students, and I remain grateful for her service."
The state took over the district last year when at the district's request, Governor Brown approved legislation that provided up to $55 million in emergency loans to help the district meet its financial obligations. The loan must be repaid within 20 years.
The legislation required the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to assume all the legal rights, duties, and powers of the governing board of the district and appoint a state trustee invested with the powers of an administrator. By law, the school district's elected governing board serves only in an advisory capacity until a number of conditions are met.
The Superintendent's authority continues until the district has adequate fiscal systems and controls in place, and the Superintendent has determined that the district's future compliance with the fiscal plan approved for the district is probable. The recovery plan also includes steps to improve the district's community relations and governance, pupil achievement, financial management, personnel management, and facilities management.
Inglewood Unified School District is the ninth school district in California to request an emergency loan, thus triggering the state takeover, since 1990. Since then, local governance has been returned to seven districts. For more information, please visit the California Department of Education's State Emergency Loans Web page.