Cleveland Schools Chief Not Candidate For NYC Post

CLEVELAND (AP) - Barbara Byrd-Bennett, the chief executive of the Cleveland Municipal School District, said she is not a candidate for New York City's school chancellor.

"There was not an offer," she said of her meeting Saturday with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. "I really thought of it as a professional conversation."

Byrd-Bennett (pictured with student, above) was rumored to be under consideration to lead New York City schools after Bloomberg was given control of the 1.1 million-student district June 6. She formerly was a high-level administrator in the New York City system.

She called the prospect of being considered for the job "very, very, very flattering." But when asked Tuesday if she expected a job offer, she responded, "No."

Byrd-Bennett said that she accepted Bloomberg's invitation as a courtesy.

"I have a commitment here to Cleveland," she said. Voters in Cleveland will decide in November's election on continuing mayoral control of the district.

"She's getting ready for the start of school, she's getting ready for the referendum," said Cleveland Mayor Jane Campbell.

The New York interview brought more attention to Byrd-Bennett's contract, which expires Dec. 31. Campbell said both sides hope to agree on terms of a new contract by mid-August.

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