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Top BHUSD Consultant Tapped to Lead Recovery of Inglewood Schools

La Tanya Kirk-Carter is joining the Inglewood Unified School District, which has been taken over by the state to save it from bankruptcy.

Beverly Hills Unified School District business and facilities consultant La Tanya Kirk-Carter announced this week that she is leaving BHUSD to join the Inglewood Unified School District (IUSD) as assistant state administrator for business services. IUSD was recently taken over by the state to save it from going bankrupt.

It is the second time this year that BHUSD has lost senior-level personnel. Assistant Superintendent for Business Services Alex Cherniss left the district in February to become chief business officer at the Los Angeles County Office of Education. Some of Cherniss’ duties had been given to Kirk-Carter.

In an Oct. 9 email to colleagues, Kirk-Cater said she was asked by the office of State Superintendent Tom Torkleson to join the recovery team at IUSD, where she began her career and where her daughter is a student. She explained that the IUSD fell into state receivership a few weeks ago.

“When this occurs, the school board is removed and a state administrator is appointed to run the district and function as the board on behalf of the state,” she said in the email. “I have been appointed by the state to head up the business division and help lead the recovery.”

BHUSD hired Kirk-Carter in 2009 to improve the facilities department after former facilities director Karen Christiansen was fired. Christensen was convicted last year of four felony counts of conflict of interest related to her work at BHUSD.

Kirk-Carter has worked on a range of district issues, from Measure E bond funding and revamping the school lunch program to the district’s current lawsuit against the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. She has also assisted with BHUSD’s legal actions against Christiansen.

“It will take some time for us to figure out how to best replace [Kirk-Carter’s] unique skill set in our school district,” Superintendent Gary Woods told Patch.

Earlier this week at the Board of Education meeting, Woods said the state’s hiring of Kirk-Carter “confirms we made a wise choice in selecting her in our time of need.”

In her email to colleagues, Kirk-Carter said she would be available to return to BHUSD to help with special projects. Her last day with the district is Friday.

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