Former NC superintendent Mark Johnson named Budd's state director
Former North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson has a new job. U.S. Senator-elect Ted Budd on Thursday named him as the state director for his office.
Johnson headed the Department of Public Instruction from 2017 to 2021. He didn’t seek reelection and instead ran for lieutenant governor. He finished third in the Republican primary for that race.
During his tenure as superintendent, a hearing officer ruled that DPI violated the law in changing providers for the state’s K-3 reading assessment software. Johnson had overturned a panel’s recommendation to continue with the current provider, and created another panel that chose a company called Istation.
After a Superior Court judge declined to intervene, Johnson signed a nearly $1 million emergency contract with Istation to provide reading assessments for two months. He gave up the fight in 2020, when schools shut down because of COVID-19. Amplify, the company that was first recommended to continue the state’s reading assessment contract, is once again the state’s provider.