With mid-year education cuts looming and larger state reductions on the way, Ramon C. Cortines, 76, faces a host of financial challenges as the new leader of the second-largest U.S. school district, but says he'll work differently than his predecessor, David L. Brewer. "For too long, we have focused on the needs of adults and not the needs of students," he said. "I'm going to continue to put people on notice when I see they're not living up to what I believe students deserve."

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