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Acting Education Secretary William Harner forced out

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

In a surprise move, Gov. Corbett has requested and received the resignation of William Harner, Pennsylvania’s acting secretary of education. Harner has served less than three months in the role, since the departure of Ronald Tomalis.

No reason for Harner’s departure was given in the statement released by Corbett’s office announcing his resignation.

According to the Patriot-News, Harner’s termination may have resulted from an issue that arose out of a background check relating to his time working in the Cumberland Valley School District.

Carolyn Dumaresq, the department’s executive deputy secretary, will take over the role of acting education secretary, effective immediately. Dumaresq was formerly a superintendent of the Central Dauphin and Steelton-Highspire school systems. She also served as the executive director of Pennsylvania State Education Association and the president of the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators.

Harner leaves his post as the Philadelphia School District looks for the state’s release of $45 million, which depends on the education secretary’s judgment and written certification that the District has begun fiscal, educational, and operational reforms.

State officials have made clear that those reforms require major concessions from the teachers’ union.