U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan to Step Down

Education Secretary Arne Duncan will be stepping down and returning to Chicago at the end of the year, according to reports from anonymous administration officials.

In a department-wide email, Duncan cited the distance from his family in Chicago as the impetus for this transition.

A close friend of the president, Arne Duncan joined Obama’s cabinet at the start of his first term. The two had previously worked together in Chicago, where Duncan served as chief executive officer of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS).

Duncan’s legacy includes Race to the Top, Investing in Innovation (i3), increases in Pell Grants, an income-based student loan repayment program, a $500 million national competition for early learning programs, and a student-loan forgiveness program for teachers and other public servants. In addition, he secured an additional $10 billion in educational funding to prevent teacher layoffs.

In an email announcement to his staff, Duncan referred to his service as “the greatest honor of my life.”

Duncan has not mentioned concrete plans for his return to Chicago, but he hopes to continue expanding opportunity for children in the future.

Deputy Secretary John B. King, Jr. is slated to replace him.

Obama will make the official announcement at 3:30 p.m. E.T.

Hannah Nyren

Hannah Nyren

Hannah Nyren is the General Manager of EdTech Times. A Texan by birth but a Bostonian at heart, Hannah is an educational writer, AmeriCorps alum, and one-time StartupWeekend EDU (SWEDU) winning team member. She started her career at a Pearson-incubated edtech startup, but has since covered travel, food & culture, and even stonemasonry in addition to education.