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Article of Interest - Tom Watkins

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Bridges4Kids LogoStatement by State Board of Education President Kathleen N. Straus
in Response to the Governor Asking State Superintendent to Resign
Kathleen N. Staus, Michigan State Board of Education, January 19, 2005
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“The State Board of Education wants a strong leader and advocate for public education. Tom Watkins is both of these.

“As I stated at the January 11 State Board of Education meeting, the contract extension signed January 3, 2005 by Tom Watkins, myself, and Board Secretary Carolyn Curtin under the Board’s authority, is binding on both parties until January 2006. Most importantly, under our state’s Constitution, the Board appoints the State Superintendent of Public Instruction who then is the principal Executive Officer of the Michigan Department of Education and Chairman of the State Board.

“The members of the Board are statewide elected officials who, in the performance of their Constitutional duties, are expected to exercise independent judgment. Tom Watkins is an excellent leader and administrator. His work has been recognized with very positive evaluations by the Board over the past three years. He is highly-regarded by educators, business leaders, parents, and the general public.

“For him to be terminated under the present circumstances would compromise the State Board’s Constitutionally-protected autonomy and system of checks and balances. Other members of the Board and I strongly support Tom and hope he fulfills the terms of his contract.”

Kathleen N. Straus, President
State Board of Education


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