Arkansas fails to nab school head

(January 27, 2004) - (Little Rock-AP) -- Mississippi Superintendent of Education Henry Johnson has turned down a job offer to head the public school system in Arkansas. Johnson confirmed yesterday that he telephoned Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee to say he's keeping his job. Johnson has been Mississippi's superintendent since August 2002.He says he had been mulling over the job offer for about two months. He would not reveal the salary he was offered, but said the pay was not much more than the 234-thousand-dollars he earns in Mississippi. Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour saluted Johnson as an "outstanding" superintendent in his State of the State speech last night. In September, President Bush nominated Ray Simon, Arkansas' education director for the U-S assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education post.