MIAMI, Fla. – One day after the big news was revealed that Miami-Dade Public Schools Superintendent Albert Carvalho was chosen as the next superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, it was business as usual.
Carvalho was at a groundbreaking Friday for an expansion of Southside Elementary and a new housing project for teachers in the Brickell area.
Carvalho leaves the fourth-largest school system in then nation, which serves about 350,000 students, for LAUSD, the second largest, with more than 500,00 students.
“I am very proud of the way this community has reacted,” Carvalho said Friday. “But I have to admit that it’s been an emotional rollercoaster and bittersweet. What I will miss the most is the human connection here in Miami-Dade.”
School board member Lucia Baez Geller said she’s proud to have worked with Carvalho during much of his 14 years as superintendent.
“I know the great things he can do and I know somehow, some way what he does in L.A. is going to be a representation of us here,” Baez Geller said. Carvalho said whoever replaces him as superintendent should have certain qualities.
“Be an instructional leader at heart, be data driven, be compassionate, be understanding of this community, be forceful about putting kids front and center and have that be the main thing every single day and have the courage to continue fight political influences that sometimes can undermine educational opportunities for the safety and well-being of children.”
Ultimately, it will be the school board’s decision to select Carvalho’s replacement.
“We need somebody that knows our community, has lived in our community, is aware of the needs of the community, but also is a thought leader, an academic, and someone who is ready to put in the hard work,” Baez Geller said.
So when is Carvalho’s last day? There’s no date set yet. According to his contract, he needs to provide 90 days notice to Miami-Dade County Public Schools that he is leaving. He does tell us that he is working along the lines of what his contract requires, but seems to want to reach an agreement with both districts, Miami and Los Angeles, that may speed up the process. He would like to be in the process of leading LAUSD within a reasonable amount of time, he said, but he wants to make sure he leaves no loose ends in Miami.
Carvalho will replace former LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner who stepped down in June. Megan K. Reilly has been serving as interim superintendent and was reportedly to have been among those considered for the full-time job.
The LAUSD board is expected to meet on Dec. 14 to finalize a vote for Carvalho’s contract.