Fox Completes Sweep Of Top Education Officials Dismissal Of Expert On School Aid Causes A Capitol Stir

The state Department of Education’s top expert on the complex and controversial school aid distribution formula was fired on Tuesday by state Schools Superintendent Anne Fox in what was described as an economy move.

Marian Hylen’s dismissal as chief of the School Finance Bureau was only the latest in the personnel housecleaning Fox has conducted since being sworn in on Jan. 2.

Department spokesman Patrick Reilly said Hylen had been dismissed from the job she held for more than a decade on the recommendation of department Finance Director Ron Pollock.

Reilly quoted Pollock as saying that his analysis indicated that a certified public accountant such as Hylen was not needed to perform the bureau chief’s job. Reilly said Pollock would take over any of Hylen’s responsibilities that required a CPA and the rest would be turned over to another person who would not command Hylen’s $60,000 salary.

Disclosure of Hylen’s dismissal a week after three other department officials were summarily axed created a new stir in the Capitol, where a number of Republican lawmakers have expressed concern over Fox’s actions and their potential impact on education policy and legislation.

With the entire cadre of top officials from the administration of retired state Schools Superintendent Jerry Evans gone, one said late Tuesday that Hylen had been the Legislature’s “last, best hope” at securing the kind of information needed to assess the ramifications of changes in the formula used to distribute over $600 million in state to the 112 school districts.

“Ron Pollack has that,” Reilly said, “and he will be responsible for questions directed at the funding formula.”

xxxx Fox’s firings Richard Kay, science consultant Fred Balcom, special education supervisor Luan York, food services consultant Marian Hylen, finance bureau chief

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