Erwin Declines Education Commissioner Post

(FRANKFORT, Ky.) - Barbara Erwin, the Illinois educator selected by the Kentucky Board of Education as the state’s next education commissioner, announced today that she is declining the position.

Citing overwhelming and acute scrutiny, Erwin informed the board of her decision today.

“As you know, my original plan was to retire in August of 2007,” said Erwin in a letter to Board Chair Keith Travis. “I believe it is in the best interests of all if I maintain those plans of retirement. I have so enjoyed my very brief opportunity to work with you and the rest of the board.”

Travis said he supported Erwin’s decision with regret.

“I and the other board members believe that Barbara Erwin was the best possible candidate for the job,” he said. “I am disappointed that the pressure she encountered has led to this.”

Travis said that the board will meet in special session on Saturday, July 14, at 7 p.m. in Frankfort to discuss plans to reopen the search for a new commissioner.

After a months-long search, Barbara Erwin was named the top candidate for the position of education commissioner in April. Her most current position was that of superintendent of Community Unit District 303 schools in St. Charles, Illinois.

The Kentucky Board of Education will meet in special session Saturday, July 14, to discuss reopening the search process for the position of commissioner of education.

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