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Archive for Tuesday, September 14, 2010

State education board may re-open commissioner search

September 14, 2010

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— The State Board of Education is considering whether to re-open the process of selecting an education commissioner.

Diane DeBacker has been serving as the interim commissioner for nearly a year after the departure of Alexa Posny, who was named assistant U.S. education secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services.

After Posny left, the State Board of Education started a search but then suspended the effort, citing budget reasons.

On Tuesday, educators asked the board to start the process again, saying DeBacker has had to do the job of two people -- the commissioner and deputy commissioner, which was her former job and has been left vacant.

"One person can do both jobs for only so long before things start to slip through the cracks and more time is spent putting out fires than providing leadership," said Brenda Dietrich, superintendent of USD 437, who spoke to the board on behalf of the Kansas Association of School Administrators. She said she wasn't criticizing DeBacker and urged her to apply for the job if she wanted it.

The education board met in closed session for about 20 minutes on personnel matters, but made no announcement when it returned to public session.

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