North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue’s choice to unify the state education bureaucracy is stepping down from his newly created post Aug. 31, in the wake of a ruling that his role as top administrator of the public schools is unconstitutional.
The legislature in March changed state law to allow Bill Harrison to serve as both state education department chief executive officer and chairman of the state board of education. Mr. Harrison will continue in his second role as chairman of the state board.
A Wake County Superior Court judge ruled July 17 that the state constitution gives day-to-day administrative control to the states elected superintendent of public instruction. June Atkinson won a second term to that post last fall, but the state board has never allowed her to run the system that educates more than 1.4 million children statewide.
A version of this article appeared in the August 12, 2009 edition of Education Week