Retirement Date Set for Education Director

October 13, 2003  -- Posted at 11:24 AM  CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR  --His job in Washington is not a sure thing, but state Education Director Ray Simon has set a time certain for leaving state government.

Simon said to the state Education Board today that he will retire October 25th after 37 years as an Arkansas educator. The former Conway school superintendent who has headed the Education Department since 1997 has been tabbed by President Bush to become an assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education at the U-S Department of Education.

That job requires Senate approval, and Simon says he's not sure how long that process will take.

But Simon says it is important for the state to get a new education director in place as soon as possible to eliminate uncertainty as officials tackle a court-ordered overhaul of the state's public education system.

Huckabee has NOT said when he will name a replacement for Simon.

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