The Hawaii Board of Education is starting up its search for a superintendent again now that former board member Darrel Galera has decided not to apply.

The board suspended its search Friday after the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation pulled its $50,500 donation to the board out of concern that the search was rigged in Galera’s favor.

Gov. David Ige appointed Galera, a retired public school principal and teacher, to the Board of Education last fall. Galera has also been leading the governor’s special team aimed at responding to the federal Every Student Succeeds Act.

Board of Education Chair Lance Mizumoto. 10 jan 2017
Lance Mizumoto, chair of the Hawaii Board of Education, said the board will not make a decision about the superintendent job until all the board finishes reviewing applications and interviewing candidates. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Galera’s announcement last week that he planned to resign from the Board of Education immediately raised concerns that he would have an unfair advantage over other candidates.

But Galera publicly withdrew his candidacy on Monday.

Later Monday, the Board of Education announced that the job description for a superintendent would be posted online Tuesday.

“I appreciate that Darrel has reconsidered his decision to apply for Superintendent,” said Lance Mizumoto, chairperson of the committee conducting the superintendent search in a press release from the Board of Education. “The Search Committee continues to encourage all qualified candidates to apply and reiterates that everyone will go through the same screening process and every applicant will be considered on an equal playing field.”

According to the statement, the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation notified the committee that it would continue its financial support for the search after all.

Galera’s decision to remove his name from consideration may disappoint members of the Hawaii State Teachers Association. The union’s director Corey Rosenlee previously praised Galera’s education philosophy and said he has the right values for the job.

Galera didn’t immediately reply to messages seeking comment.

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