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Finance Supervisor Leaving Department Of Education Loss Of Kahler Creates Void Of Expertise, Candidate Says

Associated Press

A Republican challenging state Schools Superintendent Anne Fox for re-election is worried about the departure of Fox’s public school finance supervisor.

Nancy Kahler, who has worked for the Department of Education for six years, is leaving next Friday to become accounting supervisor for the Boise School District.

State Rep. Ron Black, a Twin Falls Republican who faces Fox in the primary election next May, said local public school officials depend on Kahler for the distribution of state funds. The Education Department is heading into the 1998 legislative session without her experience and expertise, Black said.

“She was pulling the weight of three people,” Black said. “I think it is going to leave quite a hole there. It leaves us without any corporate memory.”

After assuming office in Januray 1995, Fox fired Bureau of Finance Chief Marian Hylen. Finance coordinator Evelyn Kiler resigned shortly thereafter. That left Kahler as the agency’s only employee fully conversant with the state’s complex school funding formula.

Jim Smith, deputy superintendent of finance and support services, said Kahler’s knowledge and initiative will be difficult to replace. The department reduced its ranks of public school finance specialists from three to two a while back, but the work still has been getting done, he said.

Smith said Education Department officials are confident they can get an accountant with state agency experience to replace Kahler, who worked for the legislative auditor’s office for four years before joining the agency.

Kahler has made arrangements for the August, October and November distribution of payments to public schools, and Smith said the Boise School District has agreed to loan her to the state as needed.

“Those two things make me comfortable,” he said. “We will definitely miss Nancy, but we will get the best replacement possible.”

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