President Barack Obama on Friday afternoon addressed the resignation of U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan who the day before said he would be stepping down in December.
John B. King Jr., a senior official in the department, was named by the president as interim secretary. But, the Associate Press reports that Obama is not nominating King for the permanent post.
Duncan has served as the White House’s top education official since Obama took office, in 2009.
In a letter to department staff members, obtained by The Chronicle of Higher Education , Duncan said he was going to move back to Chicago to live with his family. “ Being apart from my family has become too much of a strain, and it is time for me to step aside and give a new leader a chance,” Duncan’s letter said.
This afternoon Duncan said “I am deeply, deeply sad,” to be leaving, but added that he is leaving behind, “ a team that is stronger than it has ever been.”
Duncan got emotional talking about the foundation his parents provided for him and about now have a cance to spend time with his family.
“I love this work, I love this team, I love this president, I love the chance to serve. The only thing I love more is my family,” Duncan said.
Duncan was the chief executive officer of the Chicago Public Schools before he was tapped to lead the Education Department.