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Rauner's Top Education Aide Leaving To Work At Nonprofit

Seth Perlman
The Associated Press
In this Feb. 18, 2016 file photo, Beth Purvis, Illinois State Secretary of Education, smiles at Riverton Middle School in Riverton.

There has been another high-level departure from Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration.

This time it’s his top education adviser, Beth Purvis, who will step down Friday. In a statement, Rauner praised Purvis as a “tireless advocate for Illinois children and families.” And House Republican Leader Jim Durkin says she played a “critical role” in the recent overhaul of the way Illinois funds education.

Purvis has been with Rauner since before he took office, helping with his transition team. But her tenure has at times been controversial. Purvis made $250,000 dollars a year, and it was paid not out of the governor’s office budget, but by the Department of Human Services. This incensed Democrats, as Rauner has repeatedly tried to cut DHS programs.

The administration says Purvis will join an unnamed “national nonprofit organization” working on “educational philanthropy.”

Brian Mackey formerly reported on state government and politics for NPR Illinois and a dozen other public radio stations across the state. Before that, he was A&E editor at The State Journal-Register and Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.