Indianapolis Public Schools Superintendent Lewis Ferebee emerged two days ago as a finalist to lead Los Angeles Unified Schools, the country's second-largest school district. Wednesday afternoon he withdrew his name from consideration.
In a statement, Ferebee says after discussing the possibility with his family, members of the IPS School Board and those in the search process, he decided to withdraw.
“Recently, I was announced as one of the finalists for the Los Angeles Unified School District superintendent position,” Ferebee says in the statement released by the district. “After further discussing this endeavor with my family, the Indianapolis Board of School Commissioners, and those handling the search process, I have withdrawn my name from consideration. It was an honor to have been considered for an opportunity of this magnitude.”
That’s the only comment Ferebee will make “at this time,” according to IPS spokeswoman Carrie Black.
Ferebee was one of four finalists, according to a Los Angeles Times report Monday, but not the front-runner. Austin Beutner, a former investment banker and past L.A. Times publisher, was reported to be the favored choice among the L.A. school board members.
The Los Angeles school board held an executive meeting Tuesday night to discuss candidates.
Ferebee was in San Diego on Wednesday for ASU+GSV Summit, an education technology conference.
IPS Board president Michael O’Connor said Tuesday he didn’t expect Ferebee’s interest in L.A. job to negatively impact community support for the district or ongoing changes, such as the consolidation of high schools.
"We have real estate decisions and tough financial decisions, to make and we will,” O’Connor said. “We have a referendum that has to be successful in November and we will make sure it is successful.”
Ferebee became IPS superintendent in 2013. In 2016 he was named as one of the national "Leaders to Learn From" by Education Week for pushing for partnerships between the district and charter schools.Contact WFYI education reporter Eric Weddle at email@example.com or call (317) 614-0470. Follow on Twitter: @ericweddle.