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Failed Education Commissioner Search Costing State Thousands

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - The Kentucky Board of Education's failed
search for a new education commissioner is costing the state
thousands.

The board paid an Iowa search firm 50-thousand dollars to
suggest candidates. Illinois educator Barbara Erwin was hired from
that list in May.

Erwin, however, resigned before she started amid questions about
her resume and an ongoing police investigation in her former
suburban Chicago school district.

Bob Sexton, executive director of the Prichard Committee for
Academic Excellence, says there's no shortage of instances where
the search went wrong. Sexton says the responsibility for finding
the best candidate ultimately lies with the board.

Chairman Keith Travis says the board may have acted differently
if it had known earlier about the concerns.

William Newman, an executive with Ray and Associates, says his
company suggested qualified candidates.

Former Commissioner Gene Wilhoit left in November for a job in
Washington.

The state board decided at a special meeting today that interim
commissioner Kevin Noland would continue in that capacity until a
new commissioner is hired.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-07-28-07 1258EDT


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