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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  • by Valerie Location: Kentucky on Jul 15, 2007 at 01:10 PM
    After I read about this a few days ago i did my own checking and was shocked to learn of all of the BAD news about her. Even if the state gave someone fifty thousand dollars to check her out when the sparks started flying they should have quickly pulled the plug and immediately looked elsewhere. Like you if she wanted to retire she should have done so as i dont think she was pushed into putting her name in the pot for the job and IF she is guilty of the happenings in Illinois then she should be held accountable.
  • by Lisa Location: Olive Hill on Jul 14, 2007 at 09:19 AM
    If she had told the Education people that she wanted to retire in August 2007, why would they even consider her for the position? Obviously, the department doesn't look into the background, nor do they listen to what someone tells them.
  • by David Location: Georgetown on Jul 13, 2007 at 07:41 PM
    Charles, the whole reason she left was because she saw the light. You gave evidence. Kentucky is full of rednecks who can't spell, believe everything is a conspiracy, and put basketball before education. Hell, I wouldn't stay here either. It is state will have to pay, not gots to pay and it is commonwealth, not commenwealth.
  • by Mina Location: Illinois on Jul 13, 2007 at 06:02 PM
    As a resident of St. Charles, Illinois, I have to tell my friends in Kentucky this: you dodged a bullet. Thank your lucky stars that Erwin decided to "retire" again.
  • by James Location: Vanceburg on Jul 13, 2007 at 04:26 PM
    She had rumors of misconduct following her since before she was offered the position. Surely, an intelligent and responsible person with an unblemished past can be found. It's only our children's education at stake.
  • by Karen Location: Berea on Jul 13, 2007 at 02:36 PM
    The state and national Departments of "Education" should be abolished. Public education is akin to putting your child in prison; therefore, it doesn't matter who is hired for commissioner. Sad.
  • by Larry Location: Mount Sterlin on Jul 13, 2007 at 01:58 PM
    Surely no one is surprised at this. Our state education system is so messed up that no one should be surprised. There are numerous in state candidates that could do the job. Stu Silberman comes to mind as well as a man named Richard Hughes. Why bring someone from out of state. This state is so messed up and we need someone from inside who understands it.
  • by Charles Location: Frankfort on Jul 13, 2007 at 12:21 PM
    I think it was a waste in hiring her and knowing that what she did and know the state gots to pay another 50,000 to search for another person to hire for the position outside of the commenwealth


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