Austin Beutner officially took over as superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District Tuesday, and he started his administration by taking a daylong tour of campuses and district facilities.
Beutner, 58, began his day shortly after 5 a.m. at a bus yard in Sun Valley.
“I want to start with the people who do the work, trying to understand, do they have the tools they need,” Beutner told reporters as he toured the facility.
He went on to schools in Reseda and Northridge, then stopped at an automotive program at Van Nuys High School.
“I’m a gearhead,” Beutner told NBC4. “I love to see how vehicles (work), I love to see how things work. I think in another life I might have become an auto mechanic myself.”
For Beutner, who has been criticized for his lack of experience in the education field, said the tour was an effort to reach out to district employees and see where improvements might be needed.
“My job is to make sure the resources are there, make sure they have all the tools they need to support these children and inspire them,” he said.
He also said he wants to make the nation’s second-largest school district accessible to the community, in particular by making the district’s budget understandable.
“You’ll see in the coming weeks and months our attempt to make a little simpler some of the things we do to better engage the community, better engage the parents and understand where the money does go,” he said.