Richard Carranza will be the next superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District, after the Board of Education voted unanimously Tuesday in favor of a $245,000, three-year contract for him.
Carranza, who has been the district’s deputy superintendent for the past three years, will take over for retiring Superintendent Carlos Garcia in July.
“I think we’re making a really good choice here,” said school board member Jill Wynns. “We don’t want to start over. We don’t want to deny all the good work we’ve done before.”
Board members see Carranza as a safe choice, and he has promised no surprises as he takes the helm this summer. Like Garcia, he has had a smooth relationship with the school board, in contrast to the rockier tenures of previous superintendents.
“I think the continuity of leadership is going to allow you to keep us moving,” board Vice President Rachel Norton told Carranza before the vote.
Carranza, 45, came to The City after serving as a regional superintendent in Nevada’s Clark County.
His predecessor has generally earned positive reviews for his focus on closing the so-called achievement gap between black and Hispanic students and their white and Asian peers. But in addition to that legacy, Carranza will inherit financial trouble stemming from state funding shortfalls, which have reduced the district’s budget by $113 million in the past two years.
Ongoing budget woes have recently led to conflicts between district leadership and the teachers union, which criticized the board’s surprise announcement in March that it had chosen Carranza as Garcia’s successor without interviewing any other candidates.
“We hope that Superintendent Carranza recognizes the benefits of starting his term with labor peace instead of confrontation,” said Dennis Kelly, president of United Educators of San Francisco, after a rally the union held outside the school board meeting to protest the layoffs of more than 400 members.
In an interview with The San Francisco Examiner earlier this month, Carranza said he would begin his tenure with a public listening tour and an examination of what the district is doing well, and what it could do better.
Base salary: $245,000
Retirement contribution: $8,800
Car allowance: $6,000
Housing allowance: $20,000
Life insurance stipend: $2,000
Term: July 1, 2012 - June 30, 2015