Roy RomerThe information in this biography was supplied by the subject.Roy Romer's career has spanned the private sector, the world of politics and the field of education. Romer was named Superintendent of Schools of the Los Angeles Unified School District by the Los Angeles City Board of Education on June 6, 2000, and he became LAUSD's 45th superintendent on July 1, 2000, the effective date of his three-year appointment.
Romer was Governor of Colorado for three terms, from 1986 to 1998, becoming the nation's senior Democratic governor, and was the general chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 1997 to 2000. Though not an educator by profession, he has long been an advocate and an activist for educational issues at the state and national levels. He was vice chair of the Democratic Leadership Council, an information-age think tank that examines a variety of issues and where he studied effective educational strategies and school reform initiatives. He served as chair of the Educational Commission of the States and chair of the National Education Goals Panel.
Romer has been in the forefront of movements to improve K- 12 schooling, reform higher education, use technology to upgrade learning at all levels and to implement quality, affordable child care that can start young children on their first year of formal education. He helped develop the first national education "report card" in the early 1990s, and in 1996 he was awarded the prestigious Harold W. McGraw Jr. Prize in Education.
His energy, enthusiasm and national reputation as a "can-do" leader and a consensus builder on complex and controversial issues attracted him to the Los Angeles school board. As superintendent, he has assumed the top leadership role in a newly reorganized district with a streamlined centralized staff and 11 local districts that provide extensive authority and autonomy at the school and community level. The Los Angeles Unified School District is the nation's second largest public school system with an enrollment of 711,000 students, 37,000 teachers and administrators, 25,000 classified (non-teaching) employees and a budget of $8.4 billion.
Romer grew up in southeastern Colorado. He and his wife, Bea, have seven children and 18 grandchildren. Romer holds a bachelor's degree in agricultural economics from Colorado State University (1950), and earned a law degree from the University of Colorado (1952), studied ethics at Yale University and was a legal officer in the U.S. Air Force. He also practiced law in Denver in the 1950s and 1960s. He has been involved in family-owned businesses in agriculture and agricultural equipment for many years, helped develop Colorado's Centennial Airport, ran a flying school and owned and operated a ski area.