Rauner defends $250K salary for education secretary

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Beth Purvis’ $250,000 salary is being paid out of a department that funds epilepsy and autism services. A House panel today is reviewing the issue.|Al Podgorski/Sun-Times Media

Gov. Bruce Rauner is defending the $250,000 salary for a former Chicago charter schools executive who’s spearheading his top education initiatives.

Education secretary Beth Purvis is making more than double what her predecessors received. She’s the highest-paid member of a Cabinet already under scrutiny for its lofty paychecks.

Speaking in Chicago on Friday, Rauner said Purvis is “well worth every penny.”

The Republican says Purvis is tasked with leading a transformation of education and vocational training in Illinois. He says she’s “one of the few leaders that can pull that off.”

Purvis holds a doctorate in special education and served as CEO of the Chicago International Charter School network from 2003 through last year.

She previously served on education advisory councils under the last two Illinois governors.

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