The New York State Commissioner of Education MaryEllen Elia announced Monday afternoon that she will resign, effective Aug. 31.
Elia's resignation came as a surprise to the New York Board of Regents, who appoints the commissioner, according to Politico reporter Anna Gronewold, who broke the news on Twitter.
Elia, who is originally from Western New York and started her career in the Buffalo area, took over as education commissioner in 2015, after former commissioner John King left to work in President Barack Obama's administration. She helped calm the waters after the controversial implementation of the Common Core learning standards, and she also oversaw the development and implementation of the $1.6 billion Every Student Succeeds State plan.
Elia has been critical of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget allocations for public school aid. In February, she said his proposed funding was short by at least $1 billion.
However, Elia did not offer an explanation for stepping down in her resignation letter.
“Going forward, I hope to translate the experiences I’ve gained from one of the largest, most complex education systems in the country into lessons to help improve classrooms, schools, and districts for students in every state," Elia wrote.