Time to go
Though Arizona schools chief Lisa Graham Keegan has said in the past that she does not want to play "family feud" with Gov. Fife Symington, it appears she is finding it hard to resist.
Ms. Keegan is the state's first high-level Republican official to call for the embattled GOP governor to step down from office.
"With everything going on around him, particularly his legal and financial problems, I think he should resign," Ms. Keegan told a reporter for The Arizona Republic.
Ms. Keegan was considered a major ally of the governor when she served in the legislature before being elected schools chief in 1994. But since then, she and Mr. Symington have butted heads over issues such as school finance reform, state academic standards, and the future of the education department she heads. ("Ariz. Chief Puts Name and Face Front and Center," Sept. 25, 1996.)
A federal grand jury in May indicted Mr. Symington on 23 charges, alleging he abused his office. Last fall, Mr. Symington filed for personal bankruptcy. And the governor's response?
"Lisa Keegan is a lovely person. I thank her for her advice and I wish her all the best," Mr. Symington said through a spokeswoman last week.
When an education reform panel appointed by Gov. Lawton Chiles of Florida met for the first time, some members grumbled. They fretted that a 52-member committee cannot accomplish much for the state's 2 million students.
The Democratic governor has said he wants the commission to be his "legacy in Florida."
Commission members last week put a better face on the process, saying it was far too early to being imagining what the group cannot accomplish.
"I'm optimistic we can solve some problems," said member Aaron Wallace, the president of the state's largest teachers' union, the Florida Teaching Profession-NEA. "But we need to get away from the public rhetoric that the system is a mess."
--LYNN SCHNAIBERG & KERRY A. WHITE
Vol. 16, Issue 09