Huntsman Seeks Fulltime Education Deputy

Huntsman Seeks Fulltime Education Deputy

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Gov. Jon Huntsman has two volunteer education deputies but is planning to hire a full-time, paid deputy.

"We're going, I'd say in the next month or two, (to) have a full-time deputy for public ed," Huntsman told the Deseret Morning News Editorial Board recently. "I've got a couple of ideas in mind but that I'm not yet ready to unfurl."

Tim Bridgewater volunteers as Huntsman's education deputy over public schools. Hope Eccles is a volunteer deputy over higher education.

Eccles' work will continue, Huntsman said, but a full-time, paid deputy will "take Tim Bridgewater's place," Huntsman said.

"As a volunteer, somebody who's given us a lot of time, he's been fantastic," the governor said. "He navigated the shoals of the No Child Left Behind over the weeks and months, and I have to say, did it pretty adroitly. It was not an easy time."

Bridgewater, who runs a consulting company, believes he will continue to volunteer for the governor. He currently is helping create groups examining high school rigor and the achievement gap between whites and minorities and the haves and have-nots.

He said a full-time, paid deputy is needed to handle loads of day-to-day work.

"I love the issues ... and I would still work," Bridgewater said. "There is so much day-to-day stuff, we need someone who can be to the meetings," which can stack up to 20 a day, he said.

Utah has been embroiled with federal education officials over the No Child Left Behind law during Bridgewater's tenure.

The Legislature enacted a law putting state education goals above requirements of the federal law.

The U.S. secretary of education has said the law could jeopardize millions in federal funds, but state officials believe that can be avoided.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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