Miami, Florida — On Thursday afternoon Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho announced that is leaving South Florida to become the new superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District.
“I am blessed and happy to report that the Los Angeles Unified School System has offered me the position of superintendent,” he announced. “We are now going to enter a phase of contract negotiations.”
Carvalho has led Miami-Dade County Public Schools, the fourth-largest K-12 public school system in the country, since 2008. L.A. Unified is the second largest.
“As I open my heart to LA, I’ll never close my heart to Miami,” said Carvalho.
Carvalho spoke about the District’s improvement over the years and how there was no greater honor than the one he felt and experienced, “serving this district, this community and this nation as an educator.”
“My run in Miami Dade has been one that I could never have imagined. Over 14 years, during that time, we pulled this district from financial bankruptcy, academic bankruptcy, where dozens of schools were rated ‘D’ and ‘F’ or graduation rates were at 58%. Where nine schools, all of them in the urban core were being threatened with a shutdown. We navigated the financial meltdown, the great recession of our lifetime. We recovered from hurricanes. We dealt with threats of punishment against immigrant children and their families in our community. Yes, we navigated through the pandemic. In a process, we elevated this school system to the highest possible level in this country. Today widely seen as the highest performing urban school system in America, with zero ‘F’ or ‘D’ rated schools with a graduation rate of 93.1%.”
Carvalho thanked the “courageous freedom fighters,” the educators in a “supportive community that has stolen my heart.”
“As I now approach, what undoubtedly will be my last day here as superintendent, I still feel that this journey is a fairy tale, a fairy tale to be lived now on the different coast, but to the benefit of the same children of our nation. I’m one who believes that the energy fuel of our democracy lies with public education. If we do right by our schools and our children, we protect democracy. That is what I will carry to Los Angeles. A community that faces the very same challenges we face and continues to face with the same level of energy and dedication and courage to elevate the dignity and the humanity of all children, regardless of the coast, they live in. So with a degree of heartbreak, for the community, I’m leaving, but with happiness in my heart, also, for the community that I will work tirelessly to earn their love and respect. I want to say thank you.”
Carvalho also thanked the parents, students, teachers, bus drivers, police officers, and every single support staff member who believes in “Team 305.”
“I will miss Miami. And even though I will be calling Los Angeles home, Miami will always have a special place in my heart,” he said warmly.
Carvalho arrived in the United States at 17 as an undocumented immigrant from Portugal. He went from being a busboy to one of the nation’s leading educators with a track record of success. In 2014 Carvalho was selected as Florida’s Superintendent of the Year. He was also chosen as the 2014 National Superintendent of the Year.