California education agency reconsidering East Coast pandemic hire
The California Division of Education is reviewing its hire of a prime official who lives in Philadelphia and runs a separate enterprise there.
The division’s analysis comes after a POLITICO report that Daniel Lee’s appointment final 12 months as superintendent of fairness could run afoul of a state coverage that solely permits out-of-state hires in uncommon circumstances. Lee’s place pays between $161,400 and $179,832, in keeping with a wage vary offered by CDE.
Lee, 51, is a psychologist, life coach and self-help writer who owns his personal Pennsylvania-based psychology agency and has identified state faculties chief Tony Thurmond for greater than twenty years, throughout which he participated in Thurmond’s marriage ceremony. The superintendent of fairness job was by no means posted publicly, in keeping with the Division of Education, and Lee had no obvious expertise in California earlier than taking the job.
Maria Clayton, CDE director of communications, mentioned in an electronic mail that the “first time [the agency] heard that this is probably not permissible inside state coverage” was from POLITICO. She added that officers “are talking with CalHR and will probably be making a dedication,” referring to the state’s human sources agency.
Faculty fairness advocates final week questioned Lee’s hire and mentioned that California wanted somebody aware of districts and communities within the state to successfully implement insurance policies that shield college students of colour. Division of Education officers pointed to Lee coaching workers on implicit bias after the 2020 police killing of George Floyd as a part of his work and famous that Lee has participated in digital occasions hosted by CDE on psychological well being and fairness points.
On Tuesday, the highest Republican on the Meeting’s education committee prodded state leaders concerning the legality of Lee’s hire.
“I respectfully request that you just decide if Mr. Lee’s present employment is allowable underneath state legislation or process and report your findings to the Legislature,” Assemblymember Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin) wrote Tuesday to Yolanda Richardson, secretary of the California Authorities Operations Agency, which oversees CalHR.
Kiley referred to a press release by Amy Palmer, the Authorities Operations spokesperson, who advised POLITICO that state positions as a rule go to residents “until the job requires a special location.”
Palmer mentioned Tuesday that Authorities Operations had acquired Kiley’s letter and was reviewing it however didn’t have additional remark.
Clayton mentioned the Division of Education sought enter from the state’s human sources division earlier than hiring Lee.
“Through the hiring course of, the CDE acquired recommendation from CalHR that nothing prohibited bringing Dr. Lee on as a state worker,” Clayton mentioned. “The appointments workplace additionally processed his hiring packet and by no means raised any flags.”