California education official resigns after working from Texas

An empty Hollywood Superior hallway on Sept. 8, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. | Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Photographs

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A 2nd higher-ranking California Division of Schooling formal has resigned because she lives out of point out.

Pamela Kadakia served as a CDE fairness task supervisor but resides in Texas, based mostly on public information and her LinkedIn profile.

Her exit follows the departure of Daniel Lee, a Philadelphia-centered psychologist, daily life coach and extensive-time acquaintance of California faculties main Tony Thurmond, who was involved in Lee’s using the services of. Lee was the state’s initially superintendent of equity and earned a lot more than $161,000 every year.

Lee, 51, resigned shortly soon after POLITICO described that his appointment might have violated condition policy decreeing that condition staff ought to dwell in California unless their positions involve them to stay somewhere else, these as those lobbying the federal authorities in Washington.

CDE verified Kadakia’s departure in a assertion Thursday. “We sought to guarantee that all our personnel were in line with the new assistance,” the office reported in a assertion. “In performing so, we accepted Ms. Kadakia’s resignation.”

Kadakia’s LinkedIn profile displays she pursued her doctorate in education at Texas A&M University from 2019 to 2021. Prior to becoming a member of CDE, she taught for extra than four decades at Richland College or university in Dallas, Texas.

Records display Kadakia, 34, lives in the Dallas space, the place she and her husband purchased a dwelling in 2019. She seems to have worked in Texas considering that 2016, in accordance to LinkedIn, but originally hails from California, graduating from Walnut Higher School in east Los Angeles County and earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Cal State Fullerton.

Not only are California state staff usually prohibited from dwelling out of point out, but they are banned from traveling to Texas and 17 other states considered to have discriminatory legal guidelines.

Even though Kadakia’s profile suggests her fairness task manager post started out in January, CDE claimed she labored at the agency “for about one month” and earned a salary of $10,400. The point out Division of Education has used its nonprofit affiliate to employ a number of leading aides in the earlier before going them to point out work, as was the circumstance with Lee. It is not distinct no matter whether that took place in Kadakia’s case.

Kadakia did not reply to an email ask for for remark.

Lee’s resignation reverberated all around the point out amid issues that his choosing method smacked of favoritism and that his East Coast residency need to make him ineligible for the hugely paid out post.

Lee was at first employed in 2020 by the California Section of Education’s nonprofit affiliate, but moved into a department position this summer season with a wage range in between $161,400 and $179,832.

CDE told POLITICO that the nonprofit affiliate never ever posted Lee’s position publicly. Thurmond, who was influential in the seek the services of, has known Lee for practically a few decades given that they were being social employees in Philadelphia, and they grew near enough that Lee was in Thurmond’s marriage ceremony party.

Lee was employed to enable handle inequity in California educational institutions, which have lengthy noticed learners of shade and these from minimal-income homes put up with from an achievement gap. Some advocacy groups have also sued the point out above disproportionate disciplinary impacts on Black and Latino learners.

In an 18-page resume, Lee seemingly experienced no prior encounter in California schools or associations with university districts.

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