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Cecil Henderson won the Garvin County, Okla., schools superintendency with an unusual campaign promise: If I win, I'll quit.

He did. He has.

Mr Henderson, a retired schoolteacher, stepped down Oct. 1 from the $23,000-a-year position. His resignation will save the county about $20,000 this year, he said.

"I just didn't feel the position was needed," he said. The county has 10 schools, and the school superintendent mostly handled student transfers among them, he explained.

Forty-one of the state's 77 counties are now without school superintendents.

At the request of the Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens, the entertainer Bill Cosby performed a special concert in Amarillo, Tex., last week to raise funds for Carver Elementary Academy, a public magnet school focusing on computer skills.

The benefit concert, performed before a sellout audience, raised $175,000 for the new school, which has been struggling to keep its doors open in the face of severe budget problems in the district, said Mary Stein, a spokesman for Mr. Pickens.

Mr. Pickens and his company, Mesa Limited Partnership, enabled the school to open on schedule in September by donating half the academy's $852,000 two-year operating budget and by agreeing to help the predominantly black community raise the remaining funds.

Mr. Cosby's standup comedy routine, performed at Amarillo's civic center, raised enough money to help the school reach its fundraising goal, Ms. Stein said.

Vol. 09, Issue 08

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