LAUSD Superintendent Faces Tough Questions Over COVID Testing Contract

Los Angeles Unified Superintendent Austin Beutner’s relationship with the founder of laboratory SummerBio is under scrutiny after the company was awarded a $50 million contract by LAUSD.

SummerBio has only been in business for three months, making it a peculiar choice for testing needs at the nation’s second largest school district. The company was selected by Beutner under the emergency coronavirus powers given to him by the school board.

An investigation by KCBS/KCAL investigative reporter David Goldstein has revealed numerous business ties between Beutner and the lab’s founder, Sky Dayton. Beutner previously served on the board of one of Dayton’s companies. Dayton also contributed to Beutner’s 2011 mayoral campaign.

LAUSD says it vetted 22 testing labs before the contract with SummerBio was finalized. A spokesperson told Goldstein that the company was chosen for its low cost and fast results.

Watch the report here