Huberman says he has no plans to leave CPS

October 6, 2010 (CHICAGO)

Huberman is not confirming the Chicago Sun-Times report, but many wonder about the school district's future leadership.

Before heading off to school business in New York City, the 38 year old CPS CEO tried to set the record straight with reporters. Huberman said he was surprised to see the Sun-Times article Wednesday morning.

While he admitted that any Daley cabinet member should be looking for other options, Huberman said he has no plans of leaving his job soon. He denied the Sun-Times report that he will be stepping down from his job long before Mayor Daley leaves office in May.

"I'm the CEO of schools right now," said Huberman, "I have a responsibility to the school district. I plan to fulfill that responsibility."

So does that mean he will stick around through the mayor's last term?

Huberman said he will be the CEO in January when CPS has new school openings scheduled. Beyond that, Huberman would only say that no one can promise the future.

While the Sun-Times reported that Huberman is entertaining private sector job offers, Huberman said he has nothing lined up.

"I've made no specific plans around any specific job. I just think the reality is, as with any transition of power, as any cabinet would do, they may plan," said Huberman.

Huberman has been a loyal soldier in Mayor Daley's camp for years, taking on several top jobs including the mayor's chief of staff, CTA president, and for the past year and half, the head of Chicago Public Schools.

Daley says he will not comment on any private conversations he has had with Huberman.

The mayor says life goes on.

"When he makes a decision, he will talk to me and make a decision, but everyone is replaceable. Remember that," Mayor Daley said.

The Chicago teachers union has a similar attitude about a possible early Huberman departure.

"I think, quite frankly, we have seen a lot of musical chairs down at central office, and as one person comes in and another goes out, it does not seem to make a difference," said Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis.

But some members of the City Council's education committee believe Huberman leaving early would make a difference.

"I think it would be harmful to the system, and I think because of that, he is going to look at doing it the proper way, and the proper way in my estimation is wait until the mayor finishes," said Ald. Danny Solis, 25th Ward.

If Huberman leaves in the middle of the school year, the mayor would have to appoint an interim school chief until a new mayor would likely appoint someone else.

The Chicago teacher's union is urging the next mayor to appoint a superintendent rather than a CEO.

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