Indy businessman Hubbard won’t join DeVos at Department of Education

Indianapolis businessman and philanthropist Al Hubbard is no longer in the running to serve under Secretary Betsy DeVos at the U.S. Department of Education.

Hubbard, who was a leading contender for the No. 2 spot at the department for months, told Politico and WFYI over the weekend that he withdrew his name from consideration because his family would have to sell off investments to meet ethics requirements.

Hubbard decided the move would cost his family too much, he said. But he still supports the administration.

“I’m a huge supporter of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos,” he told Politico. “I’ve known her for many years and I’ve worked with her on education reform, and I’ll do everything I can to help her from the outside.”

Hubbard is an active player in Indiana education policy. He was one of the Republican leaders who helped build support for controversial education changes in 2011, including a vast expansion of school choice, a statewide teacher evaluation system and a new test-based accountability system that allowed for state takeover of low-scoring schools, the Associated Press reported.

Although Hubbard is a well-known businessman and philanthropist in Indianapolis, in recent years he has not been publicly involved in education policy.

In 2013, he made a move to influence the state’s largest school district when he teamed with a Democrat, Indianapolis City-County Council President Maggie Lewis, to create a committee to push for reuse of vacant school buildings, preschool and innovation schools. But the group has not been active in pushing changes in the city schools since then.

Chalkbeat is a not-for-profit news site covering educational change in public schools.

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