Ex-superintendent of financially troubled California district found dead

Kent Taylor
Former Lennox Superintendent Kent Taylor

Authorities says Kent Taylor, who resigned from the Lennox District in April amid questions about his management, died by suicide

By Mike Kennedy

The former superintendent of an elementary district in the Los Angeles area has been found dead in his home two months after stepping down amid questions over his management.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Kent Taylor, 54, who led the Lennox Elementary School District from 2013 to 2019, was found dead Sunday. The website 2urbangirls.com reports that Taylor died from a self-inflicted gunshot.

Taylor’s oversight of the Lennox district, which faces possible insolvency, had been under scrutiny on several fronts.

He was regarded by admirers as an energetic and innovative educator, but others criticized him as someone who pushed aggressively into gray areas of the law.

The Lennox school system has about 7,000 elementary and middle school students in Lennox, an unincorporated area east of Los Angeles International Airport. Los Angeles County education officials say the district is on the brink of insolvency, with insufficient reserves to pay its bills, according to a May 31 analysis.

Taylor resigned from his Lennox superintendency on April 9.

Two days after Taylor’s resignations, the Los Angeles County Office of Education sent a letter to the district expressing concerns about deficit spending and the failure to maintain adequate reserves and fund balances; inability to estimate the ending fund balance; ignorance of legally required budget procedures; and “lack of monitoring of cash.”

In 2012, Taylor was appointed by the state as administrator of the financially troubled Inglewood (Calif.) district. But state officials forced him out after two months amid allegations that he agreed to a tentative teachers’ contract without their authorization.Kent Taylor

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