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California Department of Education
News Release
Release: #15-73
September 17, 2015
Contact: Communications
E-mail: communications@cde.ca.gov
Phone: 916-319-0818

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Appoints State Administrator for Inglewood Unified School District

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today appointed Dr. Vincent Matthews as State Administrator for the Inglewood Unified School District.

"As we enter a new phase in the path towards local control, building on a strong financial foundation with robust academic programs is my priority," Torlakson said. "There are very few leaders who have led districts under state receivership and Dr. Matthews is one of them. His experience and passion are the right fit at the right time for the Inglewood school community."

Matthews most recently served as Superintendent of the San Jose Unified School District. Prior to this, Dr. Matthews led the Oakland Unified School District as the State Administrator, returning authority to the Oakland Unified governing board. Dr. Matthews served as an Area Superintendent of the San Diego Unified School District, the second largest district in California, with 132,000 students. He will begin his appointment on Oct. 19.

"Inglewood students deserve a world-class education, and I am eager to work with teachers, parents, and the Inglewood community to realize every student's potential," Matthews said. "It will take a sense of urgency and a spirit of collaboration, and I have no doubt we can deliver a high-quality education in every classroom and return local control to the elected school board."

Dr. Matthews began his career in the classroom as a teacher and local school administrator. He taught for several years at George Washington Carver School in San Francisco, and served in various administrative positions throughout the San Francisco Bay Area including principal of John Muir Middle School in San Leandro, principal of Edison Charter Academy in San Francisco, assistant principal of Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley, and principal of Alvarado Elementary School in San Francisco.

He holds an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, an M.A. in Educational Administration, and a B.A. in Liberal Studies, all from San Francisco State University. Dr. Matthews also is a graduate of the Broad Superintendent's Academy class of 2006.

Torlakson also praised the work of State Trustee Dr. Don Brann, whose efforts have brought the district to a projected balanced budget.

"Dr. Brann and his team have made considerable progress in the road to fiscal stability, and I remain grateful for his service," Torlakson said.                                                         

The state took over the district in October 2012, 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, of which the district has drawn $29 million. 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, visit the California Department of Education's State Emergency Loans Web page.

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Tom Torlakson — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

Last Reviewed: Tuesday, May 12, 2020
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