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John Deasy to Stay in L.A. After Board Renews Contract

Los Angeles Unified Superintendent John Deasy is staying put.

After days of intense speculation that the hard-charging superintendent was about to resign or be forced out, the school board decided behind closed doors tonight to extend his contract through 2016.

The board—which has increasingly been challenging Deasy's agenda since two new members were elected last spring—also gave the superintendent a satisfactory performance review.

It was a bizarre ending to a feverish five days since the Los Angeles Times first reported that Deasy was planning to step down early next year. Deasy did little to tamp down the drama by telling reporters only that he had not submitted a letter of resignation.

The possibility that Deasy might be on his way out prompted a major public relations campaign by business, civic, and philanthropic leaders who wrote letters and released statements warning that the school board was risking the future of the more than 670,000 students in the L.A. district if it let Deasy resign or pushed him out.

Earlier today, after hearing one hour of public testimony that was overwhelmingly in favor of keeping Deasy as schools chief, the seven-member board retreated to a nearly five-hour-long closed session to decide the superintendent's fate.

Once board members emerged, Richard Vladovic, the board president, announced the panel's decision before abruptly adjourning the meeting. According to local media, neither Deasy nor board members commented on the decision.

Now maybe Deasy will stay on track to last longer than three years, a feat that the previous two superintendents did not achieve.

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