Wed November 22, 2006
Corkins Out Dale Dennis In as KS Ed Commissioner
By Steve Bell
Kansas City, MO – In a special session convened with one day's notice, the Kansas Board of Education took the action its members had speculated was the subject of the secretively-themed meeting. Department of Education spokesperson Cynthia Williams announced the resignation of Commissioner of Education Bob Corkins.
"The board did vote to accept his resignation. They appointed deputy commissioner Dale Dennis as the interim commissioner. And they voted -- all of this in a single motion -- to give Mr. Corkins a thirty day's severance package."
A closed executive session presumably dealt with the choice of an interim successor and a severance package for Corkins, who had no written contract. Board Chairman Steve Abrams said the total severance package came to about $11,000.
The 7-3 vote to accept the resignation was taken in the public portion of the meeting. Abrams said he was pleased with Corkins' contribution to Kansas education, but several moderate board members said Corkins' endorsement of new science standards and efforts to start more charter schools, plus his anti-public ecucation' stance prior to his appointment were a disservice to education in the state.
Corkins was the only Kansas Eduation Commissioner in history with no previous experience as a school superintendent. Newly elected moderate board members had vowed to terminate him when the new board convenes in January.