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Leader of Kalamazoo schools chosen as state superintendent

Michigan’s Board of Education has selected Kalamazoo Public Schools Superintendent Michael Rice to be the next state superintendent.

The board voted 5-3 for Rice on Tuesday after conducting final interviews with three candidates. Once a contract is signed, he will lead the state Department of Education, starting in July and making $216,000 a year.

Board members say they liked Rice’s focus on addressing the achievement gap among students and his experience as an educator in other states.

Other finalists were Randy Liepa, superintendent of the Wayne Regional Educational Service Agency, and Jeanice Swift, superintendent of Ann Arbor Public Schools.

Michigan has had an interim superintendent, Sheila Alles, for a year since the May 2018 death of Brian Whiston .

The elected board has six Democrats and two Republicans.

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