Republican lawmaker asks education secretary to step down

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – A Republican lawmaker says South Dakota’s top education official should resign over the state’s oversight of a federal grant program wrapped up in an investigation into a murder-suicide.

KCCR radio reports Republican Rep. Lance Russell asked Department of Education Secretary Melody Schopp in a letter to step down.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Education says that Schopp is staying on the job and will continue to oversee the program.

Russell says he’s concerned with the state’s management of the federal GEAR UP college-readiness grant.

Audits found financial issues that contributed to the state’s decision to cancel its contract with the educational cooperative that administered the grant.

GEAR UP is now part of a state and federal financial investigation stemming from the murder-suicide of two employees of Mid-Central Educational Cooperative.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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