California education official resigns after working from Texas

Empty school hallway.

An empty Hollywood Excessive hallway on Sept. 8, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. | Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Photographs

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A second high-ranking California Division of Education official has resigned as a result of she lives out of state.

Pamela Kadakia served as a CDE fairness mission supervisor however resides in Texas, primarily based on public data and her LinkedIn profile.

Her exit follows the departure of Daniel Lee, a Philadelphia-based psychologist, life coach and long-time acquaintance of California faculties chief Tony Thurmond, who was concerned in Lee’s hiring. Lee was the state’s first superintendent of fairness and earned greater than $161,000 yearly.

Lee, 51, resigned shortly after POLITICO reported that his appointment could have violated state coverage decreeing that state workers should reside in California until their jobs require them to reside elsewhere, corresponding to these lobbying the federal authorities in Washington.

CDE confirmed Kadakia’s departure in a press release Thursday. “We sought to make sure that all our personnel had been in step with the brand new steering,” the division mentioned in a press release. “In doing so, we accepted Ms. Kadakia’s resignation.”

Kadakia’s LinkedIn profile reveals she pursued her doctorate in education at Texas A&M College from 2019 to 2021. Previous to becoming a member of CDE, she taught for greater than 4 years at Richland Faculty in Dallas, Texas.

Information present Kadakia, 34, lives within the Dallas space, the place she and her husband bought a house in 2019. She seems to have labored in Texas since 2016, based on LinkedIn, however initially hails from California, graduating from Walnut Excessive Faculty in east Los Angeles County and incomes her bachelor’s and grasp’s levels from Cal State Fullerton.

Not solely are California state workers usually prohibited from dwelling out of state, however they’re banned from touring to Texas and 17 different states deemed to have discriminatory legal guidelines.

Whereas Kadakia’s profile says her fairness mission supervisor publish began in January, CDE mentioned she labored on the company “for roughly one month” and earned a wage of $10,400. The state Division of Education has used its nonprofit affiliate to rent a number of high aides up to now earlier than shifting them to state employment, as was the case with Lee. It’s not clear whether or not that occurred in Kadakia’s case.

Kadakia didn’t reply to an e-mail request for remark.

Lee’s resignation reverberated across the state amid issues that his hiring course of smacked of favoritism and that his East Coast residency ought to make him ineligible for the extremely paid publish.

Lee was initially employed in 2020 by the California Division of Education’s nonprofit affiliate, however moved right into a division place this summer season with a wage vary between $161,400 and $179,832.

CDE informed POLITICO that the nonprofit affiliate by no means posted Lee’s place publicly. Thurmond, who was influential within the rent, has identified Lee for practically three a long time since they had been social staff in Philadelphia, and so they grew shut sufficient that Lee was in Thurmond’s marriage ceremony get together.

Lee was employed to assist deal with inequity in California faculties, which have lengthy seen college students of shade and people from low-income households endure from an achievement hole. Some advocacy teams have additionally sued the state over disproportionate disciplinary impacts on Black and Latino college students.

In an 18-page resume, Lee seemingly had no prior expertise in California faculties or relationships with college districts.

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