Gov. Shumlin announces nationwide search for Education Secretary

Commissioner Vilaseca says he will apply

Gov. Peter Shumlin and Stephan Morse, chairman of the Vermont Board of Education, announced plans to launch a nationwide search for an Education Secretary for Vermont. This is the first time a sitting governor has been authorized to make that appointment. In addition, the Education Secretary’s position will be elevated to a cabinet level post in the gubernatorial administration.

“This change is vital to improving education in Vermont and ensuring our children are ready to compete for the best jobs by, among other things, enabling us to expand options in science, technology, engineering, and math,” said Gov. Shumlin. “That’s good for Vermont’s economy and great for our children.”

He noted that currently the state Board of Education appoints and directs a “commissioner” to oversee education issues, including curriculum changes. The new change, which takes effect on Jan. 1, 2013, elevates the commissioner’s job to a secretary level position, and brings the newly appointed secretary into the governor’s cabinet to work more closely with the gubernatorial administration on education issues.

The Board of Education will continue to set education policy, and under the new system will also formally conduct the job search, sending at least three names to the governor for consideration. Morse said he plans to appoint a search committee at the Board’s next meeting later this month, adding that he “looks forward to working with Governor Shumlin to improve education throughout Vermont.”

Gov. Shumlin, Morse, and state Education Commissioner Armando Vilaseca worked with the 2012 Legislature to secure passage of the change, which had been unsuccessfully sought by former governors, as well. Vilaseca said he expects to apply for the Secretary’s position.

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