Governor Gretchen Whitmer seeks to replace struggling Michigan school board member

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Strayhorn denies any wrongdoing, and his resignation and departure from Michigan are unrelated to the allegations, his attorney, Alec Torigian, said.

Strayhorn, a Democrat, was elected to the state Board of Education in 2020. His eight-year term was due to expire Dec. 31, 2028.

State Council Speaker Casandra Ulbrich said her resignation was sudden but not surprising.

“He and his wife were shuttling between several different places because of their children’s sporting opportunities, and I think that was a little too much,” she said. “I know he was trying to juggle a lot of different things.”

Strayhorn’s resignation means there will be at least two new members on the eight-person board by January. Strayhorn’s replacement would begin as soon as Whitmer announced his appointment. Meanwhile, two Democrats on the board — Ulbrich and Pamela Pugh — have terms that expire in December. Pugh is up for re-election, but Ulbrich, who is in his 15th year on the board, is not.

Michigan law empowers the governor to appoint members to fill unexpired terms, so it will be up to Whitmer to fill Strayhorn’s seat.

His decision is unlikely to change the partisan balance on the board, which now has five Democrats and two Republicans. Strayhorn and Whitmer are both Democrats.

Whitmer spokesman Bobby Leddy said the governor intends to appoint “someone who will put students and parents first in every decision, while supporting teachers with the resources they have. need to provide a phenomenal education”.

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