Scott hopes to act quickly on ed secretary replacement

MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) Governor Phil Scott Monday laid out the qualifications he hopes to see in the state's next education secretary.

In a letter to the State Board of Education, Scott said he was seeking applicants with "experience managing complex issues (not necessarily education.)" He also outlined his vision for a "cradle to career" education system he first presented to lawmakers in January. He says that will be achieved by further reducing "outdated overhead costs" and following through with the efficiencies started under Act 46 three years ago.

Former Education Secretary Rebecca Holcombe stepped down suddenly from her job last week without giving any formal reasons. It was well known among policy makers that Holcombe and Scott had differences over education policy.

A number of school boards around the state have argued that the state has been heavy-handed in implementing some of the Act 46 school merger holdouts. A June deadline was fast approaching where Holcombe was expected to approve alternative governance structures for those districts that have not been able to agree on mergers. Scott in his letter to the board said this work should not be delayed.

The state board is expected to draw up a list of candidates for the governor to consider.