California education official resigns amid criticism over East Coast residency, hiring process

Abraham Lincoln Large University in San Francisco, Calif. is pictured. | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

SACRAMENTO — A extremely-paid out California schooling administrator who led the state’s fairness program from his Philadelphia residence has resigned amid criticism around his lengthy-length position and how he was employed.

The departure will come just after POLITICO documented Daniel Lee was named California’s to start with superintendent of fairness past year in spite of dwelling on the East Coast and working his very own organization there. California’s human resources section advised POLITICO that state staff can are living somewhere else only under rare situations where out-of-point out residency is demanded for the work, such as staff lobbying Congress in Washington, D.C.

California Division of Training spokesperson Maria Clayton said before Monday that the POLITICO tale was the first time the agency was mindful of this kind of boundaries on workers. Office officers earlier defended the retain the services of as a reward of popular distant function situations throughout the pandemic.

“Following current direction from CalHR, Dr. Lee made available, and we have recognized, his resignation,” Clayton claimed Tuesday evening in a assertion. “We thank him for his do the job setting up and advancing CDE’s academic equity and scholar mental wellness agendas. That critical work proceeds and, in the coming weeks, we will commence the candidate lookup to fill the position.”

Lee, 51, answered the doorway previous month at his Philadelphia business address alongside a residential road but declined to communicate to POLITICO and did not return cell phone phone calls. He was to begin with employed in 2020 by the California Office of Education’s nonprofit affiliate, but moved into a department posture this summer season with a salary range among $161,400 and $179,832.

CDE explained to POLITICO that the nonprofit affiliate never posted Lee’s placement publicly. Condition Superintendent of Community Instruction Tony Thurmond, who was influential in the employ, has recognised Lee for just about a few many years because they were social personnel in Philadelphia, and they grew shut ample that Lee was in Thurmond’s marriage bash.

“The point that we have acknowledged just about every other for 30 years … if he’s carrying out terrific quality do the job, what change does it make how lengthy we have known every other?” Thurmond mentioned in an job interview Friday.

Lee was accountable for addressing inequity in California educational facilities, which have prolonged suffered from an accomplishment gap concerning lower-money students of coloration and much more affluent white pupils. Beyond that, group activists have submitted go well with alleging that disciplinary steps disproportionately penalize Black and Latino pupils unfairly.

In an 18-web page resume, Lee seemingly experienced no prior knowledge in California educational facilities or associations with university districts. Carl Pinkston, director of the Black Parallel Faculty Board in Sacramento, which is suing the state more than disciplinary practices, criticized Lee’s retain the services of, saying that “to have someone from out of condition who is not familiar with California’s dynamics and politics and difficulties occur in and endeavor to do this do the job only furthers the basic dilemma.”

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