CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Public Schools CEO Ron Huberman is planning to step down by the end of the month, much sooner than he initially indicated in the wake of Mayor Richard M. Daley’s decision not to seek another term.
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Huberman has told Daley and Chicago Board of Education President Mary Richardson-Lowry that he is resigning, effective Nov. 29.
“Ron Huberman has shown great leadership throughout his 16-year career in city government, and we thank him for his service,” Daley said in a statement.
“I will always be grateful for the opportunity to have served this city and Mayor Daley as its leader. I have been privileged to work with so many talented people who have tirelessly made this city a better place to work and call home,” Huberman said.
CPS spokeswoman Monique Bond said in a written statement that Huberman “has privately expressed his interest not to serve another administration and said he wants to spend more time with his family before beginning a new career endeavor.”
But the Sun-Times reported that, although the mayor took it in stride publicly, privately he moved to bring the issue to a head. If Huberman was planning to leave — and was already looking for another job — he might as well leave now, paving the way for a new leadership team, even a temporary one. That prompted Huberman to step up his timetable.
Less than a month ago, Huberman denied reports that he was planning to step down soon, insisting he planned to stay into the next school year and to be present to prepare the CPS budget and carry out other initiatives.
“My first responsibility is to ensure that the District continues to operate seamlessly,” Huberman said on Oct. 6. “I remain committed to the job of CEO for Chicago Public Schools and will continue to fulfill those duties until I am confident that all critical areas of education and financial stability are met. There is no date to be placed on that priority.”
Daley has said he is not worried about replacing Huberman in the middle of the school year. Any replacement Daley names before he leaves office faces the likelihood of being replaced themselves when the new mayor takes office in May.
“We’ll be able to find someone,” Daley said last month amid speculation that Huberman was planning to leave. “Life goes on. Life goes on.”
Asked if he would prefer if Huberman stayed on board until the mayor’s term expires, Daley said, “No, don’t worry.”
Huberman began his career with the city as a Chicago Police Officer from 1995 to 2004. He headed up the Office of Emergency Management and Communications from 2004 to 2005, and was Mayor Daley’s chief of staff from 2005 to 2007. He took over as president of the Chicago Transit Authority from 2007 to 2009.
Last year, he was appointed schools CEO after his predecessor, Arne Duncan, went to Washington to become the U.S. Secretary of Education. Huberman was appointed to the post despite having no background in education.
The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.