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Carol Perkins Says She Leaves Columbus Schools On Her Own Terms

The Columbus Board of Education has a vacancy today. At last night's meeting, the board accepted the resignation of former president, Carol Perkins. Perkins took the opportunity to address questions swirling around her decision to leave public service just days before release of a special state audit into alleged data rigging." Amid compliments and a gift of roses, Perkins leaves the board after serving six years. She called her departure a "bittersweet" moment.

"There are those during my conversations who claim that I'm leaving because of the state auditor's report. Not true," says Perkins. "This board has been to hell and back during this investigation if we are going to tell the truth."

Perkins served as President of the board during the two year investigation into alleged manipulation of grade and attendance data. During that time, the district was threatened by a state take-over. It had to fill a vacancy left by the retirement of former superintendent Gene Harris. It was subject to scrutiny by a commission appointed by Mayor Michael Coleman, something Perkins says was "no walk in the park." In November, district voters rejected a proposed tax levy-bond issue to pay for recommended reforms. "I've also been asked: Am I leaving because the mayor asked me to. No he didn't," says Perkins. "I have served at the will of those people who put me in office. No one, no community leader, no school board leader, or even the board for that matter has asked me to step down from my position." Perkins says her service on the board has been a time sink and that she's leaving to spend time with her family, including two grandchildren. After her remarks, she received a standing ovation from the 38 people in the audience